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Protest leaves soldiers hurt, Afghans dead

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Protest leaves soldiers hurt, Afghans dead
Photo: DPA
12:30 CEST+02:00
Two German soldiers were injured and several Afghans were killed on Wednesday after a demonstration outside a Bundeswehr camp in northern Afghanistan turned violent.

A spokesman for the Bundeswehr told The Local he could not confirm reports from Afghan health authorities that more than 50 Afghans were injured and at least 10 killed during the demonstration in Taloqan.

Reports from Afghanistan suggested around 2,000 people demonstrated in front of the German camp, protesting the presence of foreign troops, and their own government led by President Hamid Karzai, shouting slogans such as “Death to Karzai” and “Death to the USA.”

This had been prompted by a military operation during the night in which they said civilians had been killed, although NATO spoke rather of four rebels who had been killed. German troops did not take part in the operation.

Abdul Jabar Taqwa, Governor of the Takhar province told DPA news agency that some of the protesters had thrown hand grenades into the German camp and that three Afghan guards had been injured.

One demonstrator named Abdul Khalik, who helped to take injured people to hospital, said that police had first fired on the demonstrators but that later German soldiers had come out of their camp. He could not say whether the German soldiers had opened fire.

The Bundeswehr maintains a small camp with around 40 soldiers in the area – known as a Provincial Advisory Team (PAT).

A Bundeswehr statement said around 100 people were protesting, and ignored warning shots from the police, moving towards the PAT. Shops and cars were damaged by the protesters, the statement said.

Hand grenades and Molotov cocktails thrown from the crowd injured six people including two German soldiers – one slightly, and one more seriously. Four Afghan guards were hurt too.

The Local/hc

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