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Hundreds Rally In Kabul Over Alleged NATO Deaths

Afghan demonstrators hold poster of civilian allegedly injured by foreign forces at a demonstration in Kabul.
Over 200 Afghans have rallied in Kabul to protest the alleged NATO killings of 52 civilians in the country's south.

NATO says it has no evidence of the deaths.

Protesters shouted "Death to America" and carried signs calling for justice and decorated with pictures of children they say were killed on July 23 in the village of Regey in Helmand Province (see a photo gallery of the protests by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan here).

One protester, Bibi Sahar, told Reuters today that people want to send the United States a message.

"We gathered here to condemn the brutal action of America," she said. "Dozens of Afghan civilians get killed by Americans every day, mostly women, without recognizing whether they are Taliban or not, they get killed."

An Afghan National Security Council probe found that a NATO rocket had killed 52 civilians, including women and children, when a rocket hit a house.

But NATO spokesman Brigadier General Josef Blotz said investigations had produced "no substance in terms of proof or evidence."

He said there were clashes between coalition troops and insurgents near the village on July 23, killing six to eight people -- mostly insurgents -- though, he said, "one to three civilians may have been inadvertently killed."

compiled from agency reports