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Kabul killings trigger angry protest

Kabul killings trigger angry protest

Aug 09, 2011 - 11:24

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Residents of Bagrami district blocked the Kabul-Gardez Highway and put bodies of the people killed in a clash on the road in front of the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

At least six people were killed and 18 others wounded in the clash triggered by a land dispute in the Mirwais Mena neighbourhood of Kabul early Tuesday morning, officials and a resident said.

They protestors set alight tyres on the road near the Ministry of Finance and Fire Department. Firefighters were trying to control the blaze, according to a Pajhwok Afghan News reporter.

"If the killers aren't arrested, we would continue with our protest," vowed Asadullah, one of the demonstrators. They also placed the bodies in front of the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, but no one listened to them," the 25-year-old said.

Provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ayubi Salangi, asked the protestors to let the security personnel address their problem.

A Pajhwok reporter said more than 150 residents of the Qala-i-Khandar area set ablaze tyres on the highway and tried to prevent vehicles from crossing the Kabul-Gardez road.

The protestors knocked down a billboard of the Mirwais Mena town. The road remained closed from 10am till 11:30am.  

Qari Ashraf Tarakhel, a demonstrator, said: “Our protest will continue till the killers were arrested.” He added they had called in Maulviinfo-icon Tarakhel, an MP of Kochis, to help them.

The exact circumstances that led to the fight remain unclear. Area resident Rafiullah said it occurred at around 2:30am, when fighters loyal to Mirwais Hasan, the brother of MP Qais Hassan, opened fire on residents and fired rockets at houses.

Rafiullah said five people were killed and 18 others wounded.

A Pajhwok reporter saw a destroyed house and one dead body, as well as two injured children who were taken to hospital. The reporter also saw hundreds of policemen surrounding the area, but they were yet to interfere.

At least three people were killed and as many others injured, said the deputy head of the 101st Asmayee Zone, Col. Mohammad Daud Amin. He feared the casualties could be higher. 

Weapons were also stored in some of the houses in the area, he said, adding police had launched a house-to-house search to recover the arms.

Hashmatullah Stanikzai, a spokesman for the 101st Asmayee Zone, said the clash started at 8am between Kochis and Hassan’s fighters. He said police were trying to control the situation.

Residents say Mirwais Hassan and Qais Hassan had seized some state land in the area and were trying to take over the rest of the land which was grabbed by locals.

Qais Hasan claimed he had a good political reputation, but some people wanted to defame him. "My brother and I are not involved in the clash between area residents and Kochis."

Kuchis pitched their tents each year in the area, but this time they wanted to construct boundary walls, he explained. The move drew opposition from residents.

Nine of the wounded people were under treatment at Emergency Hospital, he said, adding some of his supporters were shot injured.



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