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Afghans protest killing of civilians

28 August 2010 18:32

Hundreds of Afghan people have held took to the streets in the eastern province of Ghazni to protest against the presence of private security firms in the country.

Over 500 protesters condemned the killing of two Afghan civilians by mercenaries in the region, a Press TV correspondent reported on Saturday.

The demonstrators also chanted anti-US slogans and blocked the area’s main roads for several hours.

The security firm responsible for the civilian killing claims the two victims were Taliban militants.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for the expulsion all private security firma operating in the country.

Some 26,000 armed security contractors work with the US government in Afghanistan. But with many unregistered companies working alongside them, the number could stands as high as 40,000.

Kabul has confirmed the presence of 52 foreign private security companies, including notorious American security firm Xe Services LLC — formerly known as Blackwater.

Most of the security contractors are believed to have close ties with Afghan warlords and are also accused of contributing to the rising number of civilian casualties in the country.

In a recent meeting with US Congressmen, Karzai said that the United States was not making progress in the war because of the growing civilian casualties.

The issue of civilian casualties has long been a source of friction between Kabul and Washington.

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