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Civilian deaths spark protest against ISAF

Civilian deaths spark protest against ISAF

Aug 08, 2011 - 13:47

GHAZNI CITY (PANinfo-icon): Two civilians were killed and five others detained by foreign forces in the Khogyani district of southern Ghazni province, residents said on Monday.

Chanting slogans against the government and foreign forces, hundreds of residents staged a demonstration and took the dead bodies to Ghazni City.

Mohammad Naeem, a demonstrator, told Pajhwok Afghan News the overnight operation was conducted by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) in the Ghonday village.

He added the NATOinfo-icon-led troops killed the village imaminfo-icon, who was also a schoolteacher, along with another local. Five other residents were taken away by the troops, Naeem added.

The Talibaninfo-icon have been active in the district, 15 km west of Ghazni City, the provincial capital.

Police chief Zahid Zarawar confirmed the killings and arrests, saying they were in talks with the protestors. They would ascertain who the victims were and how the operation was conducted, Zahid said, explaining Afghan forces were not involved.

 However, ISAF said in a statement the operation was jointly conducted by foreign troops and their Afghan partners. "An Afghan and coalition combined security force killed two insurgents, including one who used a child as a human shield, during the operation."

The ISAF statement said the security force was conducting a security search for a Taliban facilitator when they were attacked by multiple insurgents.The security force returned fire, killing the two and seizing numerous suspects along with blasting caps, grenades, AK-47 rifles and chest racks.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said Noor Ahmad, the village imam, was among the civilians killed in the nighttime raid. The deaths come after two brothers were killed in a NATO-led airstrike in the district a month ago and their bodies were brought to Ghazni City as a mark of protest.


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