KABUL: Hundreds of people shouting “Death to America!” protested in the streets of eastern Afghanistan on Thursday after a nighttime military raid resulted in the death of an Afghan lawmaker’s brother-in-law.
The military operation tapped into a well of resentment about raids by American and local troops that have been known to wound or kill civilians as well as insurgents. After a storm of complaints from Afghan people, NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan issued a directive earlier this year to avoid night raids when possible.
Safiya Sidiqi, the member of Parliament whose brother-in-law was killed, said family members told her that about 100 NATO soldiers stormed her home, near the city of Jalalabad, about 11:30 pm Wednesday.
NATO said Thursday that a joint operation with Afghan forces killed “one armed individual while pursuing a Taliban facilitator” on Wednesday night. The person killed ignored demands given in English and through an Afghan interpreter to lower his weapon, NATO said, without giving details on the person’s identity.
MP raid: US troops raided the home of a female member of the Afghan parliament and killed a neighbor who was one of her relatives, the MP said on Thursday, an incident that sparked angry protests in the east.
A spokesman for foreign forces in Afghanistan said Western and Afghan troops had raided a house in the area and shot dead an armed man but was not able to comment on whether the house belonged to a member of parliament.
Night-time raids by Western troops and civilian casualties are among the most incendiary issues in Afghanistan, and the targeting of a female parliamentarian would raise the political temperature at a time when NATO is preparing a large offensive.
Safia Sediqi, an outspoken member of parliament from eastern Nangarhar province, said scores of US soldiers raided her village home shortly before midnight. Inside the house, they broke furniture and tied up family members, including her brother, for hours, she said. Outside, they shot dead a neighbour, who was also a relative by marriage. agencies