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article imageEight UN staffers dead after Afghan protest of Pastor Terry Jones

By KJ Mullins     Apr 2, 2011 in World
The actions of a Florida pastor who burned the Quran last month led to a deadly protest in Afghanistan on Friday. At least eight staffers at the U.N. Assistance Mission in Mazar e Sharif during the attack. More died today during protests in Kandahar.
Protesters are using the Quran burning incident at a Florida church March 20 as a rallying call with the crowd shouting "long live the Taliban" and "death to America" during the riots.
According to media reports two of the dead were beheaded during the violent protest Friday at the UN mission. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called the attack "outrageous and cowardly." Security guards were overwhelmed and parts of the compound were burnt Friday during the protest turned riot Friday.
UN officials have confirmed that four Nepalese Gurkha were killed by the mob. Swede Joakim Dungel, 33, Norway's Lieutenant Colonel Siri Skare, a 53-year-old pilot and a Romanian were also among the dead.
DW-World.De reports:
"The Taliban had nothing to do with this, it was a pure act of responsible Muslims," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters by phone from an undisclosed location.
According to the Guardian the Blue Mosque's sermon Friday morning was about Pastor Terry Jones's Qur'an-burning. Worshipers leaving the mosque were greeted by religious leaders in a Toyota Corolla with loudspeakers asking them to join in a burning of Jones in effigy.
The head of the Blue Mosque, Atiullah Ansari claims that this was not a plan of his religious institution. He told the Guardian that those responsible were "agents of the Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami [a Taliban-allied insurgent group]" were solely responsible for the violence."
Channel 4 News reports that the Afghan Taliban told reporters that local Afghans were responsible for the attacks in a statement by Mullah Akbar, Taliban commander in Kunduz province.
"We appreciate the spirit of the Afghan people in the name of Islam. Local Afghans staged this protest but we support them and we will continue to attack the foreign forces and their missions in Afghanistan."
The riots on Saturday saw protesters marching to UN offices and provincial administration headquarters in Kandahar. Tehran Times reports:
“Today as result of violent demonstrations in Kandahar city 73 people are wounded and nine people are martyred,” the administration said in a statement.
The news source is reporting that Saturday's dead have been protesters.
More about UN staffers, Protest, Terry Jones, Afghanistan
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