At least 12 people were killed Friday in an attack on a United Nations building in Afghanistan that followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran in Florida this month, authorities and a U.N. source with knowledge of the events said.
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. FULL POST
Afghanistan is seeing higher levels of violence this year than last year at this time, with 20% more civilians killed and the number of "security incidents" up by 66%, the United Nations says in a new report.
The number of civilians killed by the United States and its allies was lower, but insurgent attacks are significantly higher, meaning the overall number of civilian deaths is up.
More than 2,400 civilians were killed, and more than 3,800 injured in the first 10 months of this year, the report says.
Opium production has dropped significantly in Afghanistan, in large part because of a plant infection in the country's war-torn south, a U.N. report said on Thursday.
"This is good news but there is no room for false optimism; the market may again become lucrative for poppy-crop growers so we have to monitor the situation closely," said Yury Fedotov, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.