U.S. and Afghan troops fired at anti-American demonstration

U.S. and Afghan troops fired warning shots after more than 1,000 protesters chanting "Die America!" hurled stones to a U.S. military convoy and at the U.S. base in Afghanistan demanding the release of eight villagers detained in a raid.

Afghan troops used batons to beat back the protesters as they tried to push down the base's outer gate, as black smoke from burning tires billowed across the area.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.

Violence erupted after six U.S. military vehicles traveling in a convoy tried to enter the base. The protesters threw stones at them before troops inside the cars leaned out their windows and fired into the air with handguns.

The vehicles then sped into the base and the demonstrators chased them, trying to push down a metal gate guarded by Afghan forces. The soldiers used sticks to beat back the protesters and several fired into the air with their assault rifles as they shouted at the protesters to go home. Most dispersed.

The eight who were arrested were "suspected of planning and conducting attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces," the U.S. military said in a statement.

"The detained individuals had materials used to make improvised explosive devices in their possession and are thought to be planning future attacks against coalition forces," it said.

The demonstrators said they were angry with the Americans for arresting the eight in a raid without first consulting local authorities.

"We have supported the Americans for years. We should be treated with dignity," said Shah Aghar, 35, a local resident. "They are arresting our people without the permission of the government. They are breaking into our houses and offending the people. We are very angry."

The protest came two weeks after four suspected Arab terrorists escaped from the main detention facility at Bagram, sparking a massive manhunt, the AP reports.

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