Eight U.N. staff killed in Mazar-e Sharif, two beheaded
Eight foreign employees of the United Nations were killed on Friday in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif after protesters over-ran their compound, police said, in what looks to be the deadliest ever assault on the U.N. in Afghanistan.
Two of the dead were beheaded by attackers who also burned parts of the compound and climbed up blast walls to topple a guard tower, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern region.
The chief of the mission in the city was wounded but survived, and the dead included employees of Norwegian, Romanian and Swedish nationalities, he added.
Four Nepalese Guards were reported killed
Global Post Asia Pacific April 1, 2011 12.10
At least eight foreign United Nations workers were killed Friday, two of them beheaded, in an attack on a U.N. compound in the northern Afghanistan by demonstrators protesting a Quran burning by a U.S. pastor.
Protests against the burning of a Quran by Florida Pastor Wayne Sapp of a Quran on March 20 were held in several Afghan cities on Friday, Afghanistan’s Noor TV channel reported.
The Quran burning took place in the presence of Terry Jones, another U.S. pastor who last year drew condemnation over his aborted plan to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The U.N. workers — including five guards working for U.N. and two other people employed at the complex, the AP reported — were killed in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif when the protest there suddenly turned violent.
Afghanistan Crossroads CNN April 1, 2011 11:00
Eight workers for the U.N. and four Afghans were killed, said Abdul Rauof Taj, security director of Bulkh province. At least 24 people were injured, he said.
The attack followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran this month by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who gained international attention last year with his plans to burn a Quran, the U.N. source with knowledge of events said.
Jones is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. He canceled plans to burn a Quran last year, on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Last month, however, with far less attention than he attracted last year, Jones reportedly burned Islam’s holy book.
The church says on its website that it “put the Koran on trial. The event is over, the Koran was found guilty and a copy was burned inside the building.”
The attack on Friday happened at the operations center of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Mazar-e Sharif, said Dan McNorton, a U.N. spokesman.
“The situation is still confusing and we are currently working to ascertain all the facts and take care of all our staff,” he said.
Initial indications are that knives and small arms were used in the attack, according to a U.N. spokesman who declined to be named.
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