Hundreds of Afghan students have taken to the streets of Jalalabad in protest against the US soldier who killed 16 civilians over the weekend. It was the first public demonstration in response to the crimes.
The university students on Tuesday shouted angry slogans, denouncing the US and the soldier who shot the 16 mainly women and children. They carried banners calling for a public trial of the American soldier who carried out the shooting spree and for jihad, or holy war, to expel US troops from the country. Some demonstrators burned an effigy of US President Barack Obama.
"The reason we are protesting is because of the killing of innocent children and other civilians by this tyrant US soldier," Sardar Wali, a university student told the Associated Press. "We want the United Nations and the Afghan government to publicly try this guy."
The protest dispersed after around two hours.
The response to the killings, which occurred on Sunday in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, has so far been far more subdued than the often violent protests that took place after US soldiers burned up copies of the Koran and other Muslim holy books last month.
Reports from US officials say the shooter left his base in Kandahar province early Sunday, entered three homes of Afghan civilians and opened fire. The soldier then gathered some of the bodies together and set fire to them. Officials say it was an isolated act of one rogue soldier.
Both the Pentagon and the White House have stated the man, who is in custody, would be tried in a US military court.
ncy/pfd (AP, DAPD, AFP)