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More Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan spread to the capital, Kabul with sustained and deadly rioting after a US military vehicle ploughe d into a group of civilians. The US military said one person was killed and six injured and the vehicle had a \"mechanical failure\". The Afghan presidential palace said the vehicle had killed five Afghans. In the rioting, at least 14 died and 142 were injured. The government imposed a curfew in Kabul. Yousuf Stanezai, an interior ministry spokesman, said all residents were to stay off the streets between 10pm and 4am. Anyone found outside would suffer \"serious measures\". Akhmed Muneer, 27, a restaurant owner who saw the aftermath of the road accident, said US personnel opened fire, killing three people and wounding one, after incensed people turned on them at the scene. Afghan police lost control as unrest intensified and they opened fire, killing or wounding 20, Mr Muneer believed. Rioting spread to many parts of the city, focused against foreign interests, with gunfire audible through the day. The offices of the charity Care International were burnt, and another mob looted furniture and attempted to burn the new Serena Hotel near the Kabul river, the city\'s first five-star venue. Two bodies lay on the street outside the Serena, another two could be seen outside the women\'s affairs ministry and one outside the Kabul Business Centre in the Shar-e-Naw district, an area with many Western guesthouses. Also reportedly attacked were the Afghan parliament building, the interior ministry and a local television station, which filmed the destruction of its own studios. The underlying causes of yesterday\'s violence appear to be linked to growing anger and disillusionment with the Western-funded reconstruction effort.