Afghans Riot in Kabul After Deadly NATO Crash
KABUL — Scores of Afghans rioted outside the US embassy in Kabul on Friday after a NATO vehicle crashed into a civilian car killing a number of occupants, officials and witnesses said.
Television pictures showed at least one armoured vehicle in flames as young Afghan men threw stones at it.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said it had despatched a quick reaction force to the area, near US and Afghan army bases in the centre of the city.
“We don’t know yet how many people were killed in the accident,” interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashery said.
He confirmed ISAF vehicles were involved in the incident.
Witnesses said four passengers of the civilian car died when it was hit by one of two military vehicles moving in convoy.
Afghan security forces cordoned off the area, closing the road to Kabul’s international airport, an AFP reporter witnessed.
An ISAF official said the incident was being investigated.
Local resident Saleh Ahmed said the accident happened when the civilian vehicle attempted to drive onto the main road from a side street and was hit by one of the two military vehicles.
“The civilian vehicle was trying to get into the main road when the two foreign vehicles hit it and killed all four occupants,” he said. “People gathered around the crash site to see what had happened, got angry and started attacking the foreigners.”
The AFP reporter on the scene said police helped the foreigners leave as the riot conintued for about an hour before people started to disperse.
Young Afghan men threw stones and shouted “death to foreigners” and “death to Karzai,” referring to President Hamid Karzai, he said.
A similar traffic incident led to massive riots that shook the capital in May 2006, leaving at least 14 people dead.