Protest flares in east Afghanistan against U.S. deal

Reuters, Nov 20, 2011

Protesters burn an U.S. flag during a demonstration in Jalalabad province November 20, 2011. Around 1,000 people, mostly students, took to the streets in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday to protest against plans for a long-term partnership deal with the United States, which they fear could lead to an extended presence of U.S. troops. REUTERS-Parwiz
Members of the Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, prepare to leave after its closing ceremony in Kabul November 19, 2011. About 2,000 Afghan political and community leaders support the idea of a strategic partnership deal that will govern Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, they said on Saturday, but with caveats that could prove tough obstacles to surmount. REUTERS-Ahmad Masood

SURKHROD, Afghanistan | Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:10am GMT

(Reuters) – Around 1,000 people, mostly students, took to the streets in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday to protest against plans for a long-term partnership deal with the United States, which they fear could lead to an extended presence of U.S. troops.

Afghan political and community leaders endorsed the idea of a strategic partnership, with some caveats, after a 2,000-strong national gathering, or loya jirga, which ended on Saturday.

The demonstrators gathered just outside the capital of eastern Nangarhar province and burnt an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama as they protested against the prospect of U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan.

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