Protests Against U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan

May 15, 2005

Protests against the U.S. occupation are growing throughout Afghanistan.

On May 11, thousands of demonstrators protested against the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan. After throwing stones at a passing military convoy, demonstrators were attacked by U.S. soldiers and local police who opened fire on them in the city of Jalalabad, 80 miles east of the capital Kabul. 4 protestors were killed, and 71 were injured.

Since then, anti-U.S. demonstrations have erupted throughout the country and spread to 10 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. At least 16 demonstrators have been killed, and over 100 wounded. During the rally in Jalalabad, an Afghan opposition leader said the protests reflected frustration at the United States plans for long-term U.S. military ties, as well as civilian deaths during U.S. operations. Others complained about abusive U.S. searches during daily U.S. military operations.

In recent weeks, more U.S. soldiers have been killed in fighting near the Pakistan border, and the Pentagon has admitted that U.S. troops are coming under more frequent attacks. Ground and air attacks by the U.S. military continue to result in the death of scores of Afghan civilians.

Today, over 18,000 U.S.-led troops occupy Afghanistan. The U.S. continues to expand its air bases around the country, where it is building new runways, and U.S. officials have admitted that the goal is the establishment of permanent U.S. bases in the country. Pentagon officials have stated recently that troops will remain in Afghanistan "for years, and perhaps permanently."

But the resistance forces are expanding their ranks and include a broad front of Afghan political and religious groups opposed to U.S. occupation. They will not stop until U.S. troops leave the country.