Police open fire on anti-NATO protest

Police open fire on anti-NATO protest

June 14, 2008

Gunfire wounds more than a dozen protestors, doctor says

POLICE have opened fire on anti-NATO demonstrations in the south-east, wounding more than a dozen protestors, eye-witnesses have said.

Hundreds of people in Paktia’s Zurmat district took to the streets on Saturday in protest at what they called NATO’s heavy-handed military tactics, which residents blame for the recent death of 15 civilians in a NATO raid on a home in the district.

One of the demonstrators, Haji Zahir, said police opened fire on the rally and wounded 13 people.

An official at the provincial police headquarters, Ghulam Dastgir Rustamyar, said police opened fire on the protestors, but that only three people were wounded.

Rustamyar said police were told “terrorists” had infiltrated the protest and planned to attack the police headquarters.

Protestors denied rebel fighters were among the crowd of demonstrators.

The head of a private clinic in the area, Dr Haji Muhammad, said 13 people had been brought into his clinic with gunshot wounds. He said six people were in a critical condition.

NATO officials say they killed five Taliban insurgents and one woman in the air-strike two days ago.

Residents say the raid killed 15 civilians, including six children.


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