Afghan people look at a burning police vehicle in Kabul on Monday, May 29, 2006. A deadly traffic accident involving U.S. troops sparked a riot in the capital Monday, with gunfire heard near the U.S. Embassy. At least three people died in the accident and a fourth person was reportedly killed by gunfire, police said.
A traffic incident in the Afghan capital led to rumors of an American-on-Afghan massacre. Massive riots ensued. Bitter resentment of occupying U.S. forces has been laid bare. “Today has set us back 10 years,” said a NATO-employed Afghani security worker.
KABUL, May 29—The Afghan capital erupted in riots Monday morning after a traffic accident involving a U.S. military truck triggered rumors that American troops killed a number of Afghan civilians who gathered at the scene.
The U.S. military denied any such killings. But angry mobs of young men clashed with Afghan national police around the accident, and then moved toward the center of the city. Mayhem lasted for seven hours; seven to 20 people were killed and dozens were injured, according to various news and official accounts.
Hotel windows were raked with gunfire, a foreign aid agency was torched and looted, and numerous police posts were destroyed. Sounds of gunfire were heard throughout the city, and clouds of black smoke wafted in the air. Some rioters brandished AK-47 assault rifles. and they confronted police at numerous points in the city. Dozens of vehicles were smashed and burned.