Afghan working for UN shot dead
Killed in Kabul traffic; battle in Kunar continues
KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan man working for the United Nations was shot and killed yesterday in his vehicle near a busy traffic circle in Afghanistan’s capital, the world body said.
Elsewhere, US and Afghan forces battled hundreds of militants from an Al Qaeda-linked group for a third day in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan, the US military said. Two US soldiers were killed Sunday in the first day of the operation.
The Afghan UN employee who died was driving a white pickup truck with the blue UN logo painted on the side. Another Afghan member of the UN staff, who was in the vehicle, was not wounded, the UN said.
The morning shooting occurred amid heavy traffic near Massoud circle, an intersection near the US Embassy and an American military base. Two windows on the truck were shattered, and blood was spattered inside the car.
“The circumstances of the shooting are not yet clear,’’ a statement released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said. “United Nations security teams are working with Afghan security institutions to assist investigations.’’
UN officials extended condolences although the victim has not been identified.
“The United Nations condemns violence against any of its personnel under any circumstances,’’ the UN statement said. “Those responsible for this killing should be brought to justice without delay.’’
The attack in Kunar was directed against insurgents believed responsible for the roadside bombing that killed five American service members in the area on June 7, a US statement said.
The militants were believed to be members of the Haqqani group, a faction of the Taliban based in Pakistan that has close ties to Al Qaeda. About 600 US and Afghan troops are taking part in the operation, the US statement said.
In southeastern Kabul, a protest against NATO forces in Afghanistan turned violent as demonstrators clashed with police. At least 15 police officers and five civilians were wounded, according to Mohammad Khalil Dastyar, deputy police chief in the capital.
About 300 protesters blocked streets in the neighborhood of Qalacha. Some threw rocks through windows. A small group hoisted a banner that said: “We don’t want American occupiers.’’
An AP reporter at the scene heard gunshots, but it was unclear who was shooting. A police official said some of the protesters were shooting Kalashnikov rifles. Two police vehicles were damaged, and. police were seen arresting six suspects.
The protest was prompted by a raid that Afghan police and intelligence officials conducted Monday night at a madrassa in which three people were arrested, Dastyar said. One demonstrator said they were angry because foreign troops, with the Afghan forces, had torn up copies of the Koran and let a dog — considered unclean in Islam — rummage through a mosque.
However, Akthar Mohammad Noorzoi, chief of police in the district where the raid occurred, said that while foreign forces surrounded the area, Afghan officials actually conducted the raid.
A NATO spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Iain Baxter, confirmed that NATO forces took part in a search in Kabul last night and arrested a number of suspected insurgents. Separately, three Afghan soldiers were killed and seven others wounded since Monday morning in bomb explosions across the country, according to the Ministry of Defense.