Hundreds of Afghans blocked a major motorway south of Kabul carrying freshly dug-up bodies they claimed were victims of torture by US special forces and demanding the Americans be arrested, officials said.
A spokesman for the US-led military coalition said the claims were false.
Violence erupted at the rally and two of the demonstrators were killed, but the cause of their deaths was unclear, said Mohammad Hussain Fahimi, a provincial council member in Wardak, a restive province south of Kabul.
The three bodies were dug up this morning near a former US special forces base in Nirkh district, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman. Six other bodies were unearthed there in recent weeks.
Mr Khogyani said an investigation was under way but that it was too soon to say if the three were among at least nine people who villagers say disappeared into American custody.
US special forces withdrew from parts of Wardak earlier this year at the insistence of President Hamid Karzai, following alleged torture and summary execution of militant suspects there – charges US officials have firmly denied.