Los Angeles Times -- Western troops fire on bus, kill 4 Afghan civilians
Riots in Kandahar after NATO troops opened fire on a busload of civilians.
The shooting sounds like a tragic case of mistaken identity when the bus driver tried to overtake a convoy in the dark, but with anti-American sentiment running high in Afghanistan these days, this seems to have touched out real outrage – tire fires, “Death to America!” chants, etc.
With Hamid Karzai acting wobbly and the spring offensive planned for Kandahar in some doubt, this incident promises to make a difficult situation more so.
Writer Laura King followed the dispatches from Kabul:
“The early-morning shooting occurred in the Zhari district, when a bus traveling west from Kandahar on the main highway came up quickly behind several Western military vehicles, said Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the district governor.
Under what NATO calls ‘escalation of force’ rules, troops are supposed to use nonlethal means when possible to prevent a suspicious vehicle from approaching them. It was not immediately known whether Western forces were able to signal the driver to halt, or to fire warning shots."