At least four Afghans, including three civilians, were killed today and five others were wounded when Afghan police opened fire on demonstrators at an anti-NATO march in the Zabul Province.
The march, according to the provincial police chief, was protesting a NATO night raid in the Qalad District, which killed at least three civilians. NATO confirmed the raid but insisted no civilains were slain.
Night raids have been an increasingly contentious part of NATO’s tactics in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, with troops raiding suspected homes which quite often turn out to be filled with random civilians. The raids almost always turn up a handful of weapons, ubiquitous in a home in war-torn Afghanistan, and all the slain, including children, are termed “suspected insurgents.”
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly demanded that NATO stop launching night raids as well as ending the practice of launching air strikes in heavily populated areas. NATO has declined on both fronts, insisting the UN mandate for their occupation does not allow the Karzai government to restrict their killings.