Afghans protest against US night raids in Baghlan Province

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Thousands of angry demonstrators in northern Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province have held a mass rally in protest against deadly night raids and arbitrary detentions by US-led forces.

Local Afghan security officials say a large number of protesters gathered outside the governor’s compound, chanting anti-American slogans and torching American flags and effigies of US President Barack Obama.

The protesters slammed foreign and Afghan forces for nighttime raids and arbitrary arrests. The demonstrators told the governor that US-led forces have detained dozens of local villagers on charges of having ties with the Taliban.

The governor of Baghlan has strongly condemned the raids, saying such acts would deepen the gap between the government and local people.

This comes after US-led forces targeted residences of several religious scholars and tribal elders during the brutal nighttime operations over the past few weeks. The eyewitnesses also insist those who have been detained are innocent.

The night raids and arbitrary arrests have sparked widespread anger among the local population with the locals threatening regional officials with protests if US night raids and kidnappings continue.

The US-backed NATO command has for months ignored residents’ complaints of severe abuses committed by the elite American troops and commandos.

These developments come after Afghan investigators found substantial proof that American Special Forces have been involved in kidnapping, torturing and killing of Afghan civilians across the war-torn country.

US-led deadly night raids have killed dozens of Afghan civilians in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned the United States to end night raids that fuel anti-American sentiment across the war-torn country.

Civilian casualties have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and US-led foreign forces and have dramatically increased anti-US sentiments in Afghanistan.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. While the war removed the Taliban from power, insecurity continues to be high across the country.

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