Mob attacks UN office in Afghanistan, 8 staffers killedApril 2nd, 2011 - 12:47 am ICT by IANS
Kabul, April 1 (IANS) At least eight UN staffers were feared to have been killed and another was injured Friday in northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif when an agitated mob attacked the office and went berserk, Xinhua reported.
According to a police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, the protest demonstration was launched by locals after Friday congregation to condemn the reported burning of Quran by a priest couple of days ago in the US.
“Some elements with vicious design among protesters attacked the compound, opened fire and killed eight foreign workers of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in Mazar-e-Sharif office,” Ahmadzai told Xinhua.
He added that another foreign staff of UNAMA was injured in the incident.
“Some of those elements involved in the tragic incident have been arrested and investigation is underway to identify the network behind the crime,” Ahmadzai said.
Five of those killed in the incident, according to a local official who declined to be identified, could be Nepalese.
“UN personnel working in Afghanistan have been killed today after demonstrators attacked a UN compound in the country’s northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif,” a statement released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said confirming the killings.
However, it did not mention the number and the nationalities of those killed and injured in the attack by saying, “The exact number of UN staff killed is not yet clear and UNAMA is working to ascertain all the facts and to take care of affected staff.”
“Staffan de Mistura, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and the head of UNAMA, is now travelling to Mazar-e-Sharif to deal with the situation,” the statement stated.
Meanwhile, a peaceful demonstration was held Friday in the western city of Herat to condemn the reported burning of Quran in the Untied States and the demonstrators dispersed peacefully.
Similar procession was also held in front of US embassy in the capital city Kabul on the same day. Protesters, who were raising anti-US slogans, called on government to condemn burning Quran in the strongest term.
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Tags: assistance mission, berserk, de mistura, demonstrators, exact number, herat, lal, mazar e sharif, nationalities, northern afghan city, peaceful demonstration, police spokesman, procession, protest demonstration, quran, staffers, tragic incident, un secretary general, unama, xinhua