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Friday, April 01, 2011

Reports: 11 Dead After UN Headquarters In Afghan Attacked By Mob Over Koran Burning

NYT reports:

Thousands of demonstrators angered over the burning of a Koran in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, overrunning the compound and killing at least seven foreign staff workers, according to an Afghan officials.

There were conflicting reports of the total number of people killed and whether two of the victims had been beheaded. Five Afghans were also reported killed.

The incident began when thousands of protesters poured out of the Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif after Friday prayers and attacked the nearby headquarters of the United Nations, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for Gen. Daoud Daoud, the Afghan National Police commander for northern Afghanistan.

After disarming or shooting the United Nations compound’s guards, the crowd surged inside. Mr. Ahmadzai said that eight of the foreign staff workers, whose nationalities were not known immediately, were killed by gunfire, and that two others were captured by the mob and beheaded. Other reports said that the operations center was burned down as well.


Eleven people including eight UN employees were killed Friday in an attack on the organisation's headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by demonstrators protesting at the burning of the Koran by a US pastor, police said.

"In total, 11 people were killed -- three foreign members of the UN, five Nepalese United Nations guards and three (Afghan) protesters," General Mohammad Daud Daud, a senior officer in the northern region told AFP.

A UN spokesman in New York confirmed only that there had been an unspecified number of deaths but if the toll is confirmed the attack would appear to be the deadliest on the UN in Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001.

BBC has an audio of an interview with Terry Jones:

The violence occurred during a protest over the burning of the Koran in a US church on 20 March, by Pastor Wayne Sapp.

The burning took place in the presence of US pastor Terry Jones, who last year drew condemnation over his aborted plan to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Speaking to the BBC, Pastor Terry Jones denied responsibility for the protest and claimed "they used the Koran burning as an excuse to promote their violent activities".

Reuters reports that two people were beheaded, but other reports contradict that and say there were no beheadings.

Afghanistan (Reuters) – At least eight foreign U.N. workers were killed, two of them beheaded, on Friday in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif after a demonstration against the burning of Korans by a U.S. preacher, a regional police spokesman said.

Burning a Koran is just as disrespectful as burning a bible, yet we do not see other religions murdering innocent people, present day, in the name of their gods because someone thousands of miles away, in another country burned their holy book.

Moderate Muslims need to get out in front of this and condemn this action... fast.

H/T Drudge@Twitter