Karzai purges police,Taliban repulsed in Afghan south
- 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
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
He has been replaced by General Amanullah Gozar the commander for the highway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
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.
KARZAI RAPS U.S. TROOPS
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
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
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.