March 13, 2012 - 19:31 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Taliban militants opened fire Tuesday, March 13 on an Afghan government delegation visiting one of the two villages in southern Afghanistan where a U.S. soldier is suspected of killing 16 civilians, Fox News reported.
The gunfire killed an Afghan soldier who was providing security for the delegation, said Gen. Abdul Razaq, the police chief for Kandahar province where the visit took place. Another Afghan soldier and a military prosecutor were wounded in the attack, he said.
The attack in Balandi village came as the Taliban vowed to kill and behead those responsible for the 16 Afghan civilians killed Sunday.
The delegation, which included two of President Hamid Karzai's brothers and other senior officials, was holding a memorial service in a mosque for victims when the shooting started.
One of the president's brothers, Qayum Karzai, said the attack didn't seem serious to him. "We were giving them our condolences, then we heard two very, very light shots," said Karzai. "Then we assumed that it was the national army that started to fire in the air."
He said the members of the delegation, which also included Kandahar governor Tooryalai Wesa and Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid, were safe and headed back to Kandahar city.
Also Tuesday, hundreds of students in eastern Afghanistan held the first significant protest against the killings.
Sunday's killings in Kandahar province have caused outrage in Afghanistan, but have not sparked the kind of violent protests seen last month after American soldiers burned Muslim holy books.