A traffic accident involving US troops sparked the worst riot in the Afghan capital since the fall of the Taliban regime, which left at least five dead and 60 injured.
Hundreds of Afghan army troops and NATO peacekeepers in tanks were deployed around Kabul as hundreds of protesters marched on the presidential palace and rioters smashed police guard boxes and set fire to police cars.
Rioters ransacked several buildings, including a compound belonging to the international aid group CARE International. Computers were set on fire on the street outside and smoke billowed from inside the buildings.
The riot was the worst in Kabul since US-led forces ousted the Taliban in late 2001. It erupted in the city’s northern suburbs before spreading into the city centre and then to other areas frequented with foreigners, including areas near US and NATO bases.
Abdullah Fahim, Health Ministry spokesman, said that five bodies were brought to hospitals in Kabul and 60 more Afghans were treated for injuries.
He said there were no foreigners among the wounded or dead. He had no details on how the casualties occurred, and it wasn’t immediately clear if the toll included people from the traffic accident, that the US military said left at least one person dead and six injured.
The riot erupted after a convoy of US troops accidentally ran into a rush-hour traffic jam and killed at least three people and wounded 16 others, police said.
A police chief in the city, Sher Shah Usafi, said the convoy of US forces hit some civilian cars in a traffic jam near a busy market and bus station.