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Afghans protest deadly raid

THE WORLD

The slaying of a lawmaker's relative angers villagers.

April 30, 2010|Aimal Yaqubi

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Several hundred people hit the streets Thursday shouting "Death to America!" after NATO and Afghan forces raided a lawmaker's home in eastern Afghanistan the night before and allegedly killed the woman's brother-in-law.

Civilian deaths have become a sensitive issue as their numbers mount.

Safia Siddiqi, a member of the parliament, said witnesses told her that about 100 coalition troops stormed her house around midnight. She was not home at the time.

Siddiqi said the troops divided 15 members of her family into groups, faced several against the wall, handcuffed them, seized their cellphones and photographed and fingerprinted them. At some point, she said, the troops opened fire on her brother-in-law.

"I don't know why they did this," she said. "I'm a parliamentarian. Today it was my house, tomorrow somebody else's. I will fight this as hard as I can, so they don't keep doing this."

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said in a statement that a joint operation with Afghan forces Wednesday night killed "one armed individual while pursuing a Taliban facilitator." The person who was killed ignored hand signals and verbal commands through an Afghan interpreter to lower his weapon, NATO said, without identifying the person. When the individual raised his weapon and aimed it at the troops, NATO said, he was shot and killed.

Ghafor Khan, a police spokesman in Nangarhar province, said an angry crowd blocked a highway for two hours after the shooting. He also said the raid was conducted without informing local police.

--

Yaqubi is a special correspondent. Times staff writer Mark Magnier in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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