Afghanistan Begins Probe Into U.S. Crash That Sparked Riots

Afghanistan began an investigation Sunday into a road crash involving a U.S. military vehicle that sparked Kabul's worst riots in years, officials said.

After a day's delay, investigators began holding meetings and looking at vehicles wrecked in the May 29 crash that ignited anti-foreigner unrest, said Maj. Gen. Abdul Wakil. "The process has started," he said.

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The U.S. military, which is holding its own investigation, has vowed cooperation with the Afghans.

The riots left about 20 people dead, mostly from gunshot wounds, according to Afghan officials. It was the worst such violence in the capital since the 2001 fall of the Taliban regime.

The U.S. military also is probing whether its troops fired into a crowd of angry, stone-throwing Afghans after the crash.

The military says its truck that rammed into cars at an intersection suffered brake failure, and that U.S. troops fired their weapons in self-defense after a crowd that gathered at the scene turned violent.

Military officials have not made clear whether U.S. troops fired into the crowd, as some Afghan officials claim.

President Hamid Karzai has said the truck accident killed up to five people.

Afghan lawmakers on Tuesday passed a nonbinding resolution calling for local prosecution of U.S. troops responsible for the crash.

The lawmakers' motion cannot compel the judiciary to pursue charges against U.S. troops, and no senior Afghan official has indicated they want to.

Meanwhile, the commander of a NATO peacekeeping force said Sunday that foreign troops in Afghanistan must stop driving aggressively or they risk alienating the local population.

Lt. Gen. David Richards, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, said the 9,000 troops under his command would change the way they drive.

"There are too many in the [U.S.-led] coalition, ISAF, international community who drive too quickly and in an inconsiderate way and we are all determined to improve that so the people here don't look on us as people who don't care about the Afghans," he told reporters.

His comments came a week after the traffic accident sparked the worst riots in the capital since the fall of the Taliban. About 20 people were killed and more than 150 injured.