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Karzai purges police,Taliban repulsed in Afghan south

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    Karzai purges police,Taliban repulsed in Afghan south Sat Jun 3, 2006 08:35 AM ET http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=12415424 By
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3 9:08 AM
      Karzai purges police,Taliban repulsed in Afghan south
      Sat Jun 3, 2006 08:35 AM ET

      By Sayed Salahuddin
      KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has sacked dozens of
      senior police officials days after anti-U.S. riots in Kabul, an official said
      on Saturday.

      The shake-up includes Kabul's police chief, General Jamil Junbish, whose
      forces failed to prevent rioters from rampaging through the city on Monday
      after a U.S. military truck crashed into Afghan vehicles and killed at least
      five people.

      He has been replaced by General Amanullah Gozar the commander for the highway
      where riots began and where the accident happened, an Interior Ministry
      official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

      The worst anti-American unrest in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in 2001
      coincided with the bloodiest phase in a four and a half year insurgency raging
      in the country's south and east.

      Nearly 400 people died in May alone, mostly militants killed by coalition air
      strikes, but at least 17 civilians were also killed, fuelling resentment
      against the U.S. military presence.

      On Friday, coalition and Afghan troops recaptured a district of the central
      southern province of Uruzgan that had fallen under Taliban control for the
      past few days.

      "Fifteen bodies of the enemies of Afghanistan lie in the battlefield and up to
      20 of them have been killed. The operation is still going on against the
      enemies who are on the run," Zahir Azimi, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said
      in a statement.

      A coalition spokesman said the operation had involved air strikes. He could
      not comment on Taliban casualties, but said there were none on the U.S. and
      Afghan side.

      After the Taliban took the district, they said they had killed more than a
      dozen police and had taken up to 40 hostage. Twenty were later released.

      Separately, 12 Taliban were killed in an attack on a police station in
      neighboring Kandahar province on Friday, said Dawud Ahmadi, a spokesman for
      the provincial governor.


      The Taliban is active in Kabul too, but no one has blamed them for the riots
      on May 29, which were largely fueled by youths from the northern parts of the
      city, where people are generally hostile not only to the Taliban, but to
      Karzai too.

      Monday's riots in the capital prompted Karzai to order the replacement of more
      than 80 Interior Ministry generals, the official said on condition of

      The Interior Ministry said in a statement that 86 police generals have been
      appointed for "improvement and maintenance of security and for necessary
      reforms in the ministry."

      Police generals are in charge of precincts and departments within the Interior

      During Monday's protests against the U.S. presence, rioters looted shops,
      besieged a television station, burned the offices of a U.S. aid group, and
      broke windows of a new hotel before reaching the gates of parliament and the
      U.S. embassy.

      At least seven people were killed in the riots.

      Gozar was in the district where the accident happened and said he saw U.S.
      soldiers at the tail of a withdrawing convoy shoot three people as hundreds of
      people surged toward departing U.S. vehicles.

      Karzai, who was also the target of protesters anger, has condemned the use of
      arms by the U.S.-led coalition forces.

      Kabul has been under a night time curfew since the riots.
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