Hundreds of people have marched through the streets of the Afghan capital Kabul, demanding the immediate withdrawal of foreign military forces a day before the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion.
The peaceful demonstration, organised by a small left wing party, took place to mark the October 7 invasion of Afghanistan 10 years ago, following the September 11 attacks against the United States and proved Afghans are still divided over the presence of foreign troops.
The US decided to invade the country after Taliban leader Mullah Omar refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and managed to out the Taliban regime formerly in place.
Ten years later however a few things have changed and the country is still fighting recurrent insurgencies by militant groups. The Karzai government is backed by the U.S. and NATO but many in Afghanistan complain about the regime nepotistic and corrupt tendencies.
On the other hand, the Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-related groups have vowed to wage war on Afghans that were willing to fight on the government's side, and have increasingly targeted people close to the regime or working for it, terrorising the population.
Taking to the streets, the demonstrators chanted "no to occupation and Americans out" while holding pictures of Afghans killed in violence, while an American flag was also burnt.
"The United States said it came to help the Afghan people and provide a good life to Afghan people, but their true purpose was to occupy our country," said Farzana, a 22-year-old woman who goes by one name. "It is 10 years since the invasion of Afghanistan and all it has left behind is the blood of the Afghan people. We want the US to leave our country."
"Suicide attacks, insecurity and corruption are increasing day-by-day," she also added.
The US-led coalition has more than 130,000 troops in Afghanistan, with about 98,000 from the United States but the foreign troops have now started handing over responsibly for security to Afghan forces.
With all the foreign combat troops set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, many have questioned the Karzai government of handling the country, and ensuring civilians security.
In the last 10 months violent insurgency has risen significantly, and after ten years of threats and insecurity, some residents now say they would be willing to accept a Taliban comeback if it would guarantee peace.
As violence is on-going and with the armed insurgents managing to organise a series of attacks targeting official buildings and high-profile regime personnel or allies both the U.S. and the Afghan president have turned to Pakistan for answers.
Despite the three countries vowing to cooperate against the Taliban, Islamabad has been accused of still preserving its link with militant movements such as the Haqqani network, responsible of various deadly attacks, to slow down's India's influence in the country.
Pakistan as however hit back at the accusation and pointed it has been badly affected by terrorism but relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan have hit a new low after Karzai this week turned to India for help.
Meanwhile, violence continues across the country with new casualties being reported. Military officials said a Danish soldier was seriously wounded by an explosive device during an operation Thursday in south-western Afghanistan.
Also in Helmand province, insurgents opened fire on a civilian bus traveling in the Girishk district, killing a man and a child and wounding 16 others, the governor's office reported.
In southern Uruzgan province, a car bomb killed the commander of a highway security force, and in the southern Herat province, two Taliban gunmen killed the acting police chief of Shindan district.