Lawmaker says several killed in Kabul protest

Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday, cancelling the two friendly T20I matches it promised to play against Pakistan in light of a truck bombing in the city's diplomatic quarter that killed at least 90 people.

Demonstrators carried banners emblazoned with gruesome images of Wednesday's carnage, when a truck bomb went off, killing at least 80 people and wounded almost 500 more.

Afghanistan has blamed the Haqqani Network and Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the truck-bombing.

Mr. Yamamoto, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), recognized the constitutional right of those with grievances to express them peacefully in public demonstrations, but reminded those protesting, and also those in a position to protect the protestors, that all have an obligation to avoid violence.

Blaming the government for what they described "failure to check terrorist activities", besides demanding the resignation of government leaders, the protesters also called for the exemplary punishments of terrorists languishing in government prisons.

Protesters also carried banners bearing slogans such as "Ghani!"

"While there are reports that a minority of protesters used violence including throwing stones at the police, this does not justify such an excessive and deadly response", said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International's South Asia director.

The PCB said millions of Afghan refugees learned the game of cricket during their stay in Pakistan. "Abdullah! Resign! Resign!" Given the weak government and unstable political situation the US may find its plan to possibly send 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to break the stalemate with the Taliban even more problematic than it already is.

The resurgent Taliban, with whom the government has been trying broker a peace deal, has denied involvement in Wednesday's attack.

Wednesday's truck bomb, which killed more than 80 people and wounded some 460, was one of the worst since the US-led campaign to oust the Taliban in 2001 but in other respects it scarcely differed from a long series of previous attacks.

Several demonstrators died in the ensuing chaos.

"[The protest] turned violent and the police did fire live rounds at the protesters, " Kumar said.

Yet most of the anger appeared directed against the Western-backed government, underlining growing impatience with its failure to ensure security, nearly three years after most foreign troops left Afghanistan.

Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani were among those attending the funeral.

  • Leroy Wright