Sunday, April 3, 2011

10 people die in second day of protests in Afghanistan

.- At least 10 people were killed and 83 wounded in the city of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday on the second day of violent protests following the burning of a Quran at the hands of a fundamentalist Christian in the together. A suicide bomber also struck a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, a day after protesters razed a UN-led mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing seven foreign officials in the worst attack on UN in Afghanistan.

It also killed two Afghan policemen, according to official data. Violence is at its worst in the country in months and comes as Afghanistan prepares for the first stage of the delivery of safety management the Afghan army. The attacks were caused by anger at the burning of a Koran, directed by Terry Jones Christian extremist preacher.

The event went almost unnoticed in Afghanistan, but after criticism from President Hamid Karzai and called to do justice on Friday, thousands took to the streets of several cities to denounce Jones. Afghan officials and the UN have suggested that instigators infiltrated peaceful protests.

The marches in Kabul, Herat and the province of Tahar ended without violence. However, the Taliban denied any involvement in the attack in Mazar and Kandahar in the marches. Analysts warned that one should not underestimate the anti-Western sentiment in much of Afghanistan, after years of military presence and civilian casualties.

"The anger at foreigners in general, probably spread from the military to the UN and NGOs and other actors, just needs a little spark," said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Network Analyst for Afghanistan. In southern Kandahar, the spiritual heart of the Taliban, a band of about 150 men who had taken to the streets, burned tires, smashed shops and attacked a photographer.

United Nations has stepped up security and maybe review its presence in Afghanistan, but a spokesman said that no possibility of withdrawing from the country. The Interior Ministry spokesman, Zemari Bashery, said police reports indicate that the attack was not planned. Some five thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Kandahar, and many went straight to the UN mission.

Five Afghan protesters were killed and others injured, some after trying to remove guns from security guards at the United Nations. The attack took many by surprise in the city, one of the most stable and prosperous country, and some protesters said they had not anticipated the extreme violence.

(Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi in Kabul and Ismail Sameem in Kandahar, Writing by Emma Graham-Harrison, editing by Alan Elsner Spanish and Vicki Allen)

No comments:

Post a Comment