The past several months in Afghanistan have witnessed a rise in the level of violence caused by the ramification of U.S.-committed crimes in the country.
In January, a video of four U.S soldiers in uniform urinating on three dead bodies sparked anger and outrage around the world.Russia Today reported on this incident with a statement from authorities refuting this video saying: "While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticities of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps."
In February, violence broke out in Kabul over the burning of copies of the Quran at the Bagram military base.This led to protests by thousands of Afghans demanding the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Demonstrators also burned the American flag and expressed rage over the ongoing desecration of Muslim sanctities; thirty Afghans were killed in the protests.
Finally, on Sunday, anger reached a tipping point after a U.S. soldier killed over a dozen civilians on a late-night shooting spree.This latest massacre left 16 civilians dead, most of them children and women.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the shooting and demanded an explanation from the U.S., stating, "This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven."
While mainstream media are reporting on just one U.S. soldier, the prime suspect whose identity was just released as Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, an Afghan committee investigated the crime and concluded that up to 20 people may have been involved in the massacre.The committee explained, "The villages are one and a half kilometers from the American military base. We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time", but accounts by the massacre's survivors have yet to be reported by most outlets.
The number of Afghan casualties has steadily increased since 2009. The 2011 UNAMA report documents, "2,332 civilian deaths and 3,649 injuries by the Taliban for a total 5,981 civilian casualties, an increase of 10% in deaths and injuries attributed to anti-government forces compared to 2010. This accounted for 77% of all deaths whereas Nato and government forces totalled 410 civilian killings and 335 injuries."
These figures indicate the Afghan people are subject to regular violence from multiple forces, both local and foreign.
Image: Afghan protesters shout anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration in Jalalabad province March 13, 2012. The shootings triggered a protest by around 2,000 students in the eastern city of Jalalabad, the first since Sunday's attack, calling for the U.S. soldier to be prosecuted by Afghan authorities in Kandahar. REUTERS/Parwiz