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Protest In Southeastern Afghan City Turns Violent

7 March 2005 -- At least five Afghan policemen and one protester were injured today when a demonstration near the Kandahar provincial governor's residence turned violent.

Some 1,000 protesters gathered, calling for better police efforts in the province to prevent a growing wave of kidnappings. Most cases of kidnapping involved children.

Protesters threw stones, but when they tried to climb over police vehicles to approach the governor's residence police fired into the air.

"The aim of our gathering and demonstration today is to raise our voice against the lack of security in the city of Kandahar and the province," one protester said.

Stones hit the five policemen. It was unclear what injuries the protester sustained.

Abdul Samay Raofi, the head of the Kandahar Public Health Hospital, said two of the people injured were in critical condition.

Kandahar is still plagued by bandits and tribal conflict. Remnants of the Taliban movement are still active there also.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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