Afghans killed in clashes with soldiers

At least two civilians have been killed and eight more wounded when security forces opened fire during street celebrations in the western city of Herat, police say.

    Herat, near the Iranian border, previously saw little violence

    The shooting broke out on Friday evening during festivities for the 13th anniversary of the fall of Afghanistan's last communist government.

    City police chief Baba Jan said Afghan army soldiers helping with security opened fire in an apparent attempt to control a crowd.

    However, Interior Ministry spokesman Latfullah Mashal said shots were fired during a row between troops and police.

    A Reuters report backed Mashal's claim saying the clashes were between members of the US-trained Afghan army and police.

    Jan said one woman died at the scene and another later in hospital. Others were injured in the ensuing panic. Revellers later mounted a stone-throwing protest against the security forces, Mashal and witnesses said.

    "We have received the bodies of three military and three civilians who were killed in the clash," a doctor at Herat's main hospital told Reuters on Saturday.

    Investigation

    President Hamid Karzai expressed condolences to the victims. He ordered an investigation and "severe punishment" for those responsible, his office said in a statement.

    Karzai ordered an investigation
    into the Herat clashes

    Officials said one soldier had been arrested over the incident and that a team of investigators was en route from Kabul.

    Herat, near the border with Iran, was for years seen as one of the safest parts of Afghanistan, but serious violence has broken out twice there since early last year, including riots in September after the dismissal of the city's former governor, Ismail Khan.

    The city was calm on Saturday morning, but UN staff and other aid workers had been ordered not to venture out, aid officials said.  

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.