Afghanistan: Afghan civilians in bus gunned down by U.S. troops
Kandahar, Afghanistan – In the early morning hours of April 12, U.S. troops fired on a bus in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing five civilians and wounding 18 more. The driver of the bus, Esmate, said, “They opened fire at us and I fell unconscious. The people who were killed were sitting in the seats just behind me.”
Another witness, Gul Mohammad, stated that the U.S. troops “opened fire for no reason.” A woman and a child were among those killed, according to local authorities.
Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in protest after the shooting, blocking the roads, burning tires. The demonstrators chanted “Death to America!” and denounced the U.S.-backed occupation government and its president, Hamid Karzai, while calling for U.S. and NATO forces to leave the country. There are currently 126,000 U.S. and NATO occupation troops in Afghanistan, with more on the way.
The killings are the latest in a long line of deaths at U.S. checkpoints. The New York Times recently reported that “American and NATO troops firing from passing convoys and military checkpoints have killed 30 Afghans and wounded 80 others since last summer, but in no instance did the victims prove to be a danger to troops.”
The killings come at a particularly sensitive moment for the U.S. occupation, as it tries to rally support for a planned operation to sweep Kandahar of resistance fighters. As the U.S. occupation continues to bring misery, death and destruction to Afghans, the movement to oust the occupiers can only grow and gain in strength.