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Afghans Riot In Kabul After Civilian Killed

KABUL (Reuters) -- Dozens of angry Afghans pelted police with stones after a U.S. military vehicle struck a van and and one civilian was killed and three wounded in the Afghan capital on November 28, officials and witnesses said.

Seething resentment against the presence of some 65,000 foreign troops is growing in Afghanistan after scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in a series of mistaken air strikes this year.

The incident began when a U.S.-led coalition struck the minivan and it skidded off a main road in eastern Kabul and hit a shop, the U.S. military said.

A security contractor's vehicle also travelling along the road was then surrounded by an angry crowd and the driver called for assistance, but managed to leave before troops from a nearby British base arrived at the scene, a NATO spokesman said.

It was not clear if the civilian died in the traffic incident or was shot afterwards, but the NATO-led force said none of its troops had fired any shots.

But the quickness with which ordinary Afghans turned to violence illustrates the depth of resentment against the presence of foreigners in their country, many of whom drive aggressively at great speed to avoid the threat of suicide bombers.


The killing of an Afghan civilian in a Taliban suicide bomb targeting foreign troops on November 27, close to the scene of the incident, provoked no such protest. Afghans often blame the presence of foreign troops for attracting suicide bombs.

Crowds chanted "death to Bush, death to America" as the body of the victim of the November 28 incident was put into the back of a taxi and driven away from the scene.

"They killed my son, my son is dead," said a weeping old man.

The rioters pelted Afghan police with stones and were chased down side-streets before dispersing.

Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest level since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban for sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Taliban insurgents killed 13 Afghan soldiers and police and wounded 23 more in an ambush in the northwest of the country, an Afghan army general said onNovember 28.

General Fazel Ahmad Sayaar said the insurgents also captured 19 more troops and police, as well as 26 military vehicles in the attack in the Bala Murghab district of Badghis province on November 27.