U.S. Military truck crash kills civilians; Kabul riots

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006 Kabul Afghanistan saw the worst violence on Monday since the fall of the Taliban, after a large U.S. Military cargo truck crashed into about a dozen vehicles at an intersection in Kabul killing at least 7 civilians and injuring about 40. "There was a traffic jam and all the vehicles were stopped," said one witness, 21-year old shopkeeper Mohammad Wali. "The American convoy hit all the vehicles which were on the way. They didn't care about the civilians at all."

A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick, said no U.S. troops had been hurt, and that an investigation has begun into the incident.

The U.S. military also said the crash was caused by brake failure but Afghans often complain about aggressive driving tactics of the U.S. military. Convoys often pass through crowded areas at high speed and occasionally disregard road rules. U.S. military says such driving is necessary to protect the troops from attack.

Afghan rioters also claimed U.S. troops had shot and killed civilians at the scene of the accident.

Chanting "Death to America," rioters stoned the U.S. convoy involved in the accident Monday before heading to the center of Kabul where they ransacked offices of international aid groups and searched for foreigners. Smoke billowed from burning buildings along the path of destruction.