Karzai meets Marjah elders

A US Marine stands guard in Marjah, Helmand province, as Karzai visited the town yesterday. (REUTERS)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited the town of Marjah and heard complaints from residents about the actions of Afghan and international troops who recently seized it from the Taliban in a major offensive. Karzai, along with Nato commander US General Stanley McChrystal, yesterday met about 300 elders in a mosque in the central part of the town.

They complained, sometimes shouting, about house searches conducted by the military, and civilian casualties that occurred during the offensive. They told Karzai that they want only Afghan troops to search houses.

The elders also said that they want clinics and schools, and are losing patience with the war and lack of public services.


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