I send my firm regards to the heroic popular forces in Afghanistan. Hopefully, they continue to bleed out and demoralize the enemy of us, until it is RUN OUT!
Protesters Attack Soldiers in Afghanistan
Sun Sep 12,10:50 AM ET
By STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer
KABUL, Afghanistan - Demonstrators stormed U.N. compounds and stoned U.S. soldiers in a tense western Afghan city, officials said Sunday, a day after the government sacked its warlord governor.
About a dozen people were reported injured — most with bullet wounds — as security forces tried to keep order in Herat following the replacement of Gov. Ismail Khan. The office of one international aid group was also ransacked.
The violence was a challenge to U.S.-backed interim leader Hamid Karzai, who ordered Khan's removal and has sent more than 1,000 Western-trained national army soldiers and police to Herat ahead of Oct. 9 presidential elections.
Karzai condemned the rioters, saying they were damaging Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s fragile peace process.
"That's not what this country wants, and that's not what the people of Herat want," Karzai told reporters in the capital, 360 miles to the east. "We will deal with that strongly."
Hundreds of people gathered outside the city headquarters of the United Nations (news - web sites) chanting slogans against U.S. troops and the government, witnesses said.
Demonstrators broke through the gate at about noon, setting at least one vehicle alight and sending U.N. staff scuttling into their onsite bunker, U.N. spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Latfullah Mashal said windows were broken and fires started around two U.N. compounds and the office of the Afghan human rights commission.
Police and soldiers trying to control the crowd fired warning shots but still wounded as many as 10 people, Mashal said. Mashal maintained that the soldiers had only fired into the air.
A relief worker contacted by telephone in the city said a mob broke into the office of the Danish Afghan Committee, looted equipment and set fire to the building. "We had to run," said the aid worker who asked not to be identified.
The group's handful of foreign staff, who were unhurt, were waiting for an American helicopter to lift them from the compound and take them to the airport, she said.
Witnesses said American troops were also seen on the streets and that several helicopters were circling over the city.
The U.S. military had no comment on the incidents, which occurred as Khan's replacement, the former Afghan ambassador to Ukraine, arrived at Herat airport.
But it said that two of its soldiers experienced trouble in the city on Saturday evening, when a rock-throwing crowd bore down on their broken-down Humvee. A passing patrol of some 25 troops from the Afghan National Army came to their aid.
The Afghan army took control of the situation and one ot its sodleirs reportedly fired 40-50 warning shots, the statement said. It said two civilians were wounded.
Officials say the warlord Khan, who commands a private army that he has been reluctant to disarm, accepted leaving his city post but refused to take up a minor Cabinet job in the capital.
More than 1,000 members of the new, U.S.-trained national army and German-trained national police have been deployed to Herat province since fighting in August between Khan and rival warlords left dozens dead.
Several dozen American troops are based in Herat on a mission to promote stability and reconstruction. U.S. trainers are also accompanying the Afghan army units deployed to the area.