Afghan protestors shot after mosque raid sparks anger

Sunday, March 1, 2009

As many as six protesters were wounded in the Afghan province of Ghazni while protesting an alleged raid by NATO troops on a mosque. Protesters claimed that NATO troops entered a mosque, opened fire on those inside, and tore up copies of the Qur'an.

Video from Al Jazeera cameramen show Afghan security forces firing their weapons at the crowd of protesters. United States officials have said that they believe all injuries resulted from "saboteurs" acting from inside the crowd. However, Afghan officials admit that they fired on the protesters.

Protesters marched along the main highway, throwing stones at the police who tried to stop them. When the police could no longer hold the protesters back they opened fire, injuring as many as six.

This marks another protest against U.S and NATO forces operating in Afghanistan after recent raids resulting in civilian deaths have sparked unrest.

A recent poll of Afghans shows declining support for NATO and U.S forces. Just 47% of Afghans have a favorable opinion of the U.S down from 83% in 2005. Only 18% of Afghans surveyed thought that U.S and NATO forces should increase. 25% of Afghans say they think attacks on foreign troops can be justified, up from 13% in 2006.