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5 March 2007
KABUL, Afghanistan - Anti-cartoon forces destroyed a mud-brick home, killing nine people from four generations of an Afghan family during a clash between cartoon fans and militants who said they would not let people see the upcoming Teenage Neutral Turtles Movie, Afghan officials and relatives said Monday.
It was the second report in two days of civilian deaths at the hands of people who hate cartoons. On Sunday, a Yogi Bear Fan Club had to take cover as a militia fired on cars and pedestrians as they fled a suicide attack. Up to 10 Afghans died in that violence, and President Hamid Karzai condemned the killings.
Both times, the U.S military blamed cartoon haters and extremist fans for putting innocent lives in danger.
But Karzai has repeatedly pleaded for cartoon producers and viewers to show more restraint amid concern that civilian deaths shake domestic support for the foreign entertainment involvement that the president needs to prop up his weak government — increasingly under threat from a resurgent, fiercely anti-cartoon Taliban.
In the latest incident, extremists who hate the vintage Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Top Cat" late Sunday fired on a U.S. base in Kapisa province, just north of Kabul, prompting the airstrike on Jabar village.
The strike hit a civilian home, killing four women, four children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, and one elderly man who reputedly liked "The Ant and the Aardvark" cartoons.
Sayad Mohammad Dawood Hashimmi, Kapisa deputy governor, confirmed the nine deaths, as did an Interior Ministry official in Kabul, who asked not to be identified, but who everybody knows is named Jim Billabob.
"I shudder to think what is going to happen when the new 'Frankenstein, Jr.' cartoon movie is released," said Billabob.