12 Killed, 65 Injured in Anti-Nato Protest in N Afghanistan

Kabul: At least 12 people were killed and 65 others were wounded as hundreds of Afghans on Wednesday staged a protest against Nato overnight raid in which four Afghan civilians were killed in northern Takhar province on Tuesday, officials said.

The protesters say those killed were civilians.

They chanted slogans against Nato and some of them threw stones at a poster of President Hamid Karzai.

Twelve Afghan civilians were killed and 65 others were wounded on Wednesday when the protest got violent, Faiz Mohammadi Towhidi, a spokesman for governor of Takhar told TOLOnews.

Afghan police forces have taken control of the area.

The protest began early this morning and ended in the afternoon.

Afghan officials are in talks with local leaders and are investigating how the protest turned violent.

Mr Towhidi said the operation was launched in Gowmali village of Takhar province during which two men and two women were killed. He said the Nato raid will also be investigated.

Some reports said the protesters attacked PRT office, but this could not be independently confirmed.

Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, Media in charge of 303 Pamir military corps in northern Afghanistan told TOLOnews that unidentified gunmen who had infiltrated into the crowd and turned the protest violent.

Nato said in a statement that it killed four insurgents in the operation outside of Taloqan city in Takhar province. The coalition says the combined Afghan-Nato force was careful to ensure the safety of civilians.

\”A combined Afghan and coalition security force killed four insurgents, including two armed females during a security operation targeting an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan facilitator in a Taloqan district,\” the statement said.

President Hamid Karzai has condemned the civilian deaths and has said the Afghan government will investigate the raid and also seek explanation from Nato.

Mr Karzai said all Afghan citizens have the right to stage peaceful protests, but turning the protests violent is not acceptable.

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