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Afghans blame civilian deaths on U.S. despite spike from insurgent violence

Two security workers were killed in an attack on Hart Security in Kabul this week.

It's not that locals don't blame the Taliban. But they insist that foreign forces are oblivious to their impact on neighborhoods.

Abdul Ahamad, 53, a shopkeeper who lives next to the Hart Security compound attacked by the suicide bombers, showed his damaged Toyota Corolla to a reporter. Its windows were blown out and the driver's side door was caved in. He said he had about $200 in savings and could not afford to fix the car.

"The attack was because of this security company. If they were not here, we would not be attacked," Ahamad said. "Why should they come and reside here? They should stay in a place far from civilians."

Jim Heycock, Hart's chief operating officer, said the Kabul office employs about 50 Britons and more than 400 Afghans, providing salaries to locals who work as drivers, translators and guards. He said all employees are insured and that Azizi's family will get money to cover funeral costs and other expenses.

But that's little solace to Azizi's family. Azizi, who earned $250 a month, helped cover the $500 monthly rent with brother-in-law Najeebullah Bahar, 29, who works for Hart as a translator. Bahar's family has implored him not to return to the company.

"My family now tells me, 'If you go work over there, maybe one day they will kill you also,' " Bahar said. "Now I tell to my family, 'If I don't go over there, how can I provide money for the house?' "

Special correspondent Qadratullah Andar contributed to this report.

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