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U.S. Troops Fire on Crowd in Kabul After Crash, Riots

The World

May 29, 2006|Wesal Zaman | Special to The Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. troops opened fire on a crowd of angry demonstrators this morning during a protest that erupted after a U.S. convoy apparently rammed into a traffic jam, Afghan police commanders said.

Three people were killed and more than a dozen injured in the accident, and another died and two were wounded in the gunfire, police said.

A convoy of U.S. military vehicles was driving from Bagram air base, the main American military facility north of Kabul, when it plowed into cars on the main highway about two miles outside the Afghan capital, police said.

Witnesses said Afghans began throwing stones at the U.S. vehicles, and the troops responded by opening fire to disperse the crowd. When the convoy reached Kabul, it was met by more demonstrators and gunfire erupted again.

Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai summoned the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, to demand an explanation in the deaths of at least 16 civilians during airstrikes aimed at Taliban militants in the south.

Karzai ordered an investigation into the strikes.

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