Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of the village of Malwand today, protesting against NATO night raids in a neighboring village. The protest ended in tragedy when Afghan police opened fire on them, killing ten and wounding at least 14 others.
Provincial officials defended the attack, with the chief of police claiming that the protesters were actually “Taliban infiltrators.” They also claimed the protests weren’t against the night raid, but rather against Pakistan. Both claims were rejected by participants.
Bizarrely, some local officials also claimed that several of the demonstrators were wearing “suicide vests,” though there was no indication that any explosions were reported and everyone killed appears to have died of police gunfire.
“There were no Taliban among the protesters,” Abdul Qayyum, one of the protesters told the AP, adding that the night raids are happening with no apparent reason, with troops forcing their way into homes to search them.
NATO officials shrugged off the news, saying they are “aware” of the complains about night raids and that they will “fully investigate.” The killing of the protesters does not appear to have even warranted an investigation from NATO or the NATO-trained police.