U.N. Staff Killed During Afghan Protest - Voice of America
At least 12 people, including eight foreign employees of the United Nations, have been killed in northern Afghanistan, after a protest against the burning of the Quran turned violent, Afghan police said Friday.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned as "cowardly" the attack on the U.N. mission 's compound in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province.
Afghan officials said demonstrators stormed the U.N. office during protests against the recent burning of the Quran by an American preacher in the southern U.S. state of Florida. Afghan President Hamid Karzai had condemned the Quran burning, and called on the United States to bring those responsible to justice.
On Friday, more than a thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Mazar-e-Sharif after Friday prayers. Afghan officials said the protest outside the U.N. mission began peacefully, but that some of the demonstrators overran the compound's security guards, killing them. Police say protesters then entered the building, setting it on fire, and beheading some of the U.N. workers inside.
Afghan officials said the dead included at least three Afghan protesters and five Nepalese U.N. guards.
The top U.N. official in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, was said to be heading to the northern city.
Demonstrations against the Quran burning were also held Friday in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the western city of Herat, where protesters shouted anti-American slogans. No violence was reported.
In October of 2009, militants killed six U.N. employees during an attack at a guesthouse in Kabul.
President Karzai recently selected the relatively-peaceful city of Mazar-e-Sharif as one of seven areas slated to be transferred from NATO to Afghan security forces this year as part of the security transition.
Afghans Angry Over Koran Burning Kill U.N. Staff - New York Times
Afghan Protests of Koran Burning Turn Deadly - Washington Post
Protests Turn Deadly at Afghan U.N. Office - Wall Street Journal
Mob Kills 8 U.N. Workers in Afghanistan - Los Angeles Times
Deadly Protests for Koran Burning Reach Kandahar - New York Times
Kabul: 5 Die in Quran Burning Protest - Voice of America
Day 2: 5 Die in Quran Burning Protest - Associated Press
United Nations Mission Rocked by Mob Killings - The Guardian
Seven Killed in Worst-ever Attack on U.N. Workers - Daily Telegraph
U.N. Staff Beheaded as Afghans Rage Against Pastor - The Indpendent
Afghans Angry at Quran Burning Kill 7 at U.N. Office - Associated Press
U.N. Condemns Deadly Attack on Afghan Office - Associated Press
U.S. 'Deeply Shocked' by U.N. Killings in Afghanistan - Voice of America
Obama Condemns Violence in Afghanistan - USA Today
Anti-Islam Pastor Responds to Killings in Afghanistan - Wall Street Journal
Pastor Who Burned Koran Demands Retribution - New York Times
Koran Burning by Pastor Initially Went Unnoticed - Washington Post
Koran Burning Pastor Calls Afghan Mob Killings Tragic - Los Angeles Times
Koran-burning Pastor Says Not Responsible for Deaths - Agence France-Presse
Koran Burning Ignored in U.S., News in Af and Pak - New York Times
Should Media Have Reported Fla. Quran Burning? - USA Today
Massacre in Mazar - Foreign Policy opinion
The Mazar Killings - Registan opinion
The Consequences of Qur'an Burning - The Guardian opinion