U.N. Workers Killed in Protest of Quran Burning in Gainesville
(From TV 20 and AP Reports) -
The U.N. Security Council is condemning "in the strongest terms" the deadly attack on a U.N. compound in northern Afghanistan following a protest against the burning of a Quran by a Florida pastor.
U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain LeRoy told reporters that seven
U.N. personnel were killed - three international staff and four
Gurkha soldiers - and others were injured. He said five
demonstrators were also killed.
LeRoy said the U.N. believes the demonstrators in Mazar-i-Sharif
on Friday wanted an international target and the U.N. office was
The Security Council condemned all incitement to violence and
called on the Afghan government to bring those responsible to
justice and take "all possible steps" to protect U.N. personnel
Afghan officials say about 2,000 people peacefully gathered outside the U.N. office in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, but then some protesters grabbed weapons from the U.N. guards and opened fire on the police, then stormed the building. Black smoke billowed from the building.
The topic of Quran burning stirred outrage among millions of Muslims and others worldwide after the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, threatened to destroy the holy book last year. Pastor Terry Jones had backed down but went through with the burning last month, prompting protests in three Afghan cities.
In Gainesville, police Sgt. Chuck Reddick said the officer assigned to the zone that includes the Dove World Outreach Center will increase patrols in the vicinity. Reddick added that detectives are contacting the FBI and will decide if any additional action is needed after that consultation.
Mayor Craig Lowe said he is trying to clean up the stain that has been left on his city's reputation around the world.
"We just need to assert our community's true character. And make sure that everyone knows Gainesville communicates that it is a community that is open to people of all faiths, national origins, race, gender, sexual orientation, any category."
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