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Afghan Turkmens Demand Probe Into Deadly Shooting

Ethnic Turkmens by the Amu River on the Afghan-Turkmen border in Qarqeen district of Jowzjan Province.

Residents of an ethnic Turkmen village in northwestern Afghanistan are urging authorities to investigate a deadly shooting by police.

Five people were killed and some 12 others wounded on March 16 when police fired at ethnic Turkmens gathered in front of the district administration building in the town of Qarqeen.

They were demanding help from the authorities to stop what they say are efforts by Turkmenistan to take land they claim as their own.

The leader of the Afghan-Turkmen Solidarity movement, Hajji Anvar, told RFE/RL that ethnic Turkmens met on March 17 with authorities in the provincial capital, Shebirghan, urging them to investigate the shooting and assist ethnic Turkmens to preserve their lands.

The villagers said a delegation also handed a petition to the parliament's deputy speaker in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on March 17.

Qarqeen District Deputy Governor Abdurrahman Mahmudi told the villagers on March 17 that the police chief who allegedly gave the order to open fire has been transferred to another region.