Afghans block highway shouting 'Death to Canada'
Date: Sunday, September 30 2007
Protest follows killing of two clerics
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
September 27, 2007 at 5:02 AM EDT
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — The death of two Afghan clerics in an overnight raid has ignited an unusual protest against foreign troops and sharply increased the volatility of a district that is critical to Canadian success in southern Afghanistan.
Shouts of "Death to Canada!" were heard among the clamour yesterday on the main highway west of Kandahar city, as an estimated 300 to 400 protesters voiced their anger against the violent searches of local homes.
Neither the Canadians nor other NATO soldiers were involved in the raids, a military spokeswoman said; the only other foreign troops operating in the area belong to U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom, a counterterrorism force.
Many of them said they now understand the Canadians were not to blame for the killings, but they predicted that Canadian soldiers will bear the consequences because they're the most powerful force in Zhari district, and most ordinary people can't distinguish between Canadian and American troops.