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News Link • Afghanistan

Afghans Demand Withdrawal of US Special Forces

• http://www.commondreams.org, Lauren McCauley
 Hundreds of residents of Afghanistan's eastern province of Wardak are marching on Kabul Saturday demanding US special operations forces pull out of their territory.

According to police reports, between 200 and 500 demonstrators have gathered outside of parliament, chanting "U.S. special operations forces out!" and calling for the release of nine local citizens "whom they believe are under the custody of US forces," the chief of Kabul police's Criminal Investigations Department said.

"We have gathered here to protest against the [U.S.] Special Forces in Maidan, Wardak, because they enter people's houses and torture innocent people, they have also detained 10 people and it is not clear what will happen to them," said one protester.

The nine villagers had reportedly "disappeared in an operation by this suspicious force" last October, as cited by a February statement issued by the presidential palace. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

The demonstration follows a week after Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's ordered the withdraw of the Special Forces from that province citing mounting allegations of torture and extrajudicial killing, by the US forces and the 'irregular' Afghan Groups working alongside them, Al Jazeera reports.

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