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U.S. To Compensate Kabul Crash Victims

A Kabul restaurant gutted by rioters on May 30 (RFE/RL) May 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. military says it will compensate dozens of victims and their families following a military-truck accident that killed five people in Kabul and led to violent riots.

In a statement, the U.S. military said the accident was the result of brake failure, echoing early reports that emerged soon after the incident.

A curfew was ordered for a second night in a bid to maintain order in Kabul. At least eight people were reported killed and 120 injured in the riots on May 29. An Afghan Interior Ministry source said today that scores were arrested.

Afghanistan's parliament met in a special session today, and demanded the arrest of those responsible for the accident.

The precise circumstances surrounding the ensuing violence remain unclear. Afghan authorities arrested scores of people suspected of involvement in the looting and violence. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanizai told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan today that authorities are investigating whether some political groups may have encouraged the violence.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has blamed the rioting on "opportunists and insurgent elements."

(with additional agency reports)