[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Afghan parliament discusses riots
Protesters threw stones at coalition military vehicles

The Afghan parliament is holding a special session to discuss the circumstances that on Monday led to violent anti-US protests.

The protests in Kabul were the biggest since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

The riots began after a US military vehicle crashed into 12 cars in the Afghan capital, killing several people.

People then started throwing stones, and some reports say US troops opened fire on the crowd. Other reports say Afghan security forces opened fire.

At least seven were killed in the shooting and the riots which followed.

QUICK GUIDE

An overnight curfew imposed in the city after the rioting has ended.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says the military are still on the streets because there are fears that emotions continue to run high and more protests could follow.

"The army has control of the city. We have tanks in the city for the first time. Everything is calm," defence ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi told the Associated Press news agency.

President Hamid Karzai has urged Afghans to stay calm and blamed the riots on agitators. He has also promised an investigation into the road crash.

The US military has said it would be "conducting a full investigation" into the incident.

'Tragic accident'

The unrest began after a US military vehicle apparently lost control and smashed into at least 12 civilian cars during morning rush-hour in Kabul's northern suburbs.

Who is ruining our city? We are very very sad
Zalmai Mohammed
Resident

Coalition spokesman Col Thomas Collins said a large cargo truck in the US convoy had suffered a mechanical failure, hitting the cars at a busy junction.

"This was a tragic accident and we deeply regret any deaths or injuries resulting from this incident," he said, adding that a full investigation was under way.

Hundreds of Afghans gathered after the accident, chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Karzai".

They pelted the US military vehicles with stones before scattering when the shooting began.

Protesters on the streets of Kabul
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets

Some eyewitnesses say the US troops shot at protesters, while others say it was the Afghan police, who had come to the aid of the under-siege convoy. Some say it was both.

The US military said there were "indications" that at least one of the vehicles in the convoy "fired warning shots over the crowd".

At the height of the violence, 21 European Union diplomats and staff had to be rescued from their compound by British Royal Marines working for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the aftermath of the US convoy accident in Kabul



RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific