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Afghans shout ‘death to Obama’ over killings

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12/30/2009 07:41 AM
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Afghans shout ‘death to Obama’ over killings
[link to www.msnbc.msn.com]

ASADABAD, Afghanistan - Hundreds of Afghans joined street rallies on Wednesday in protest against the killing of 10 civilians, most of them teenage students, in a military raid by foreign forces over the weekend.

In the capital of Nangahar province, which borders Kunar, where the attack took place, around 200 university students took to the streets to protest against the raid, demanding those responsible be brought to justice.

"We have no more patience. It has happened repeatedly. If it occurs again, we will drop our pens and take arms," one group chanted. Others targeted President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.

"Death to Obama. Down with Karzai," they shouted.

'False information'
Asadullah Wafa, head of a presidential delegation sent to investigate the weekend attack in Kunar province, one of the most remote and unstable corners of eastern Afghanistan, said he had confirmed that none of the dead was an insurgent.

"Those people that were killed were innocent civilians," Wafa told reporters in Asadabad, the provincial capital of Kunar. "We want to find and punish the person who has given the false information (that there were militants there)."

Eight boys, aged between 13 and 18, and two men in their 20s were killed, Wafa added.

Wafa's team spent several days interviewing local officials and relatives of the dead, but the site of the attack is largely Taliban controlled and too dangerous for government visits.

NATO-led forces said the raid was a joint operation and it was still under investigation, but Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimi said Afghan troops had not taken part.

Wafa said foreign troops had been airlifted in for the attack, resolving some confusion about an operation which had previously been described by senior officials as both an airstrike and a "commando-style" raid.

Afghans are concerned that the influx of 30,000 more U.S. troops ordered by Obama early this month to try to turn the tide of the war will result in more attacks and higher civilian casualties.
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12/30/2009 07:43 AM
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Re: Afghans shout ‘death to Obama’ over killings