April 1st, 2011
11:04 AM ET

U.N. staff killed in Mazar-e Sharif

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.

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.

The United Nations' special representative to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, was on his way to Mazar-e Sharif to assess the situation, McNorton said.

Filed under: United Nations
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. MadCelt

    To salerno You and that Terry Jones guy belong together. Two idiots !!

    April 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. salerno

    Terry Jones did a better job than Bin Laden to push muslims to jihad. I think it is not the problem of the burned Quran. This may be the occasion, but there are deeper motivations for the violence. Afghanistan is under US occupation and civilians, including women and children are killed by the US military on a regular basis. For sure someone took the occasion to make a revenge.

    April 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nathan

    Let’s blame the pastor!
    He burned the Koran.
    Can they just burn a bible, instead of killing people?
    Apparently not.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      I'd happily ship them a whole box full of Bibles to do whatever that want with if it would get them to relax a little.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Trätoffel

    Sweden hates Terry Jones

    April 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Good for you in joining the rest of the world, Sweden. Just don't chop any heads off because of it, mmkay?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john q

    You people saying one guy, however ignorant, is responsible for the acts of equally ignorant people half a world away just don't get the concept of freedom.

    If anyone other than that ignorant mob is responsible then it should be the UN for not providing adequate security in the event an ignorant mob shows up at the door. The guards at the UN compound probably were refused live ammunition due to the UN's squeamishness in the face of reality.

    There comes a point when reason should overcome political correctness. I think we're at that point now. The ridiculousness of the reaction to the burning of a stupid book is beyond measure. Some people should wake up and smell the 21st century.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Giovanni

    What strange timing... just as we get involved in Libya, another Muslim country, Mr Jones burns a Koran.
    I know this sounds paranoid and far fetched, but I wonder if Pastor Jones is acting alone. Either he is the biggest criminal hate-mongering fool in America... or someone, an Iranian or Al-Qaeda agent (or the CIA or Israel or the KGB lol), infiltrated his entourage and is encouraging him to cause strife between Christians and Muslims all over the world.
    It's a little hard to believe someone could be so stupid... I hope he realizes his life is in danger now.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robinhood82

    Terry Jones is now officially a murderer.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Wait...I thought the murderers were the grown, supposedly civilized men who mobbed up, stormed a compound, killed some guards and beheaded a couple of people?

      How is burning a book murder?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • robinhood82

        They attacked the western world on sep 11th. I joined up and attacked them. Now if they burned the bible id gladly go back and hand it to them again. but for a fat man to burn their holy book knowing we are dealing with people who will kill anyone that dishonor their book and still he burns the book. Well that makes him responsible for the reprocussion.

        April 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Actually, it doesn't. I'd happily concede the point if you could open a law book and show me I'm wrong.

      I joined and did the same and will head over again soon. It still doesn't change my conviction. Any society or culture that justifies the beheading of a human being for a book burning just doesn't, and shouldn't, have a place in the 21st century world.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • robinhood82

        Well can you tell me what you are fighting for then? If its not in the belief of religion. Regarding the law book, what law are you talking about? The muslims dont care about the american or any western law. They have their own and in their law they have the right to do this. So yet again an ignorant american has caused so many innocent people to die, just for some PR in teh news.

        April 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Refuge Denied

    People beheaded in a country because someone in another country burned a book ? Wouldn't the proper retaliation be to burn a Bible or two? What about when these countries burn the US flag? Should the US citizens retaliate and start killing people in that country's embassy? Of course there won't be any retaliation on the part of the UN. They will just accept it. I just don't understand that culture of rabid wild dogs.

    I truly feel for the families that have just lost loved ones in this senseless atrocity.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mouth Breather

      Agree. Well stated. I think we are having to endure a cultural tantrum that has not run its course yet.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Excuse me, sir. Your religious euphemisms seem to be getting in the way of your ability to communicate a well-thought idea. I'm wondering if your religious zealotry also gets in the way of well-thought thoughts too. I'm guessing that's a big yes.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mouth Breather

      YAY! THANK YOU John Q! Extremely well stated! Precise communication! What a gift!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      UN worlers are intruders in Afghanistan and are allowed in the country by the US occupation.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      You need time to understand Yacoby.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mouth Breather

      yakoobbee needs to join the human race and engage in civil, logical, reasonable discourse. If he has a point to make, he continues to fail because of his pretentiousness and self involved twaddle.

      Tell him to step up and be a man of quality and integrity. One who communicates with clarity and thoughtfulness. (I bet that'll happen real soon.....)

      April 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Mouth – you are wrong- Probably Yacobi is a woman, even if this could be a surprise for you.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. GG

    Agreed that the Pastor in Florida is an idiot. However, one person's claim that the Holy Koran justifies violence provokes an angry mob to murder 8 innocent people, beheading two of them? Does this not play into the hands of Terry Jones and prove his point?
    The actions of this mob and the horrible crimes they have committed in the name of Allah should be causing world wide protests from all Muslims to claim back their religion and show the error of this ignorant mob.
    The so-called Preacher should be ignored.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      I've asked this question before, as well.

      Where ARE the "moderates" and why are they not raising hell about these murderous actions? If they are truly against this kind of thing why are we not hearing from them?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      You're barfing out that religious mumbo jumbo again. You should get some help for that. I recommend Bertrand Russell's "Why I am Not a Christian" to start with. Most of the discourse has to go with Christianity (which is what you're referring to, not Hindi) but I think the concepts apply across the theist spectrum.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lorraine

    the pastor should be charged with manslaughter. and America needs to wake up and put anti hate laws in place, as we have in europe and which would have made his actions illegal.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • robinhood82

      Absolutely agree. People like Terry Jones is so ignorant about anything that happens in the world. This man is a disgrace.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Refuge Denied

      But you don't think these middle eastern countries need to wake up and put anti hate laws in place? I think most posters are missing the big picture. One man in a country on the opposite side of the world burned a book. At least 8 lives were taken by an angry mob in another country because a book was burned. Those VICTIMS had nothing to do with the book burning.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Freedom of speech, however abhorrent and ignorant, is legal in the US.

      Murder, however, is pretty much outlawed everywhere. Including Afghanistan.

      You seem to be confusing the two.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    What the pastor did was stupid and wrong yes, but it does not justify killing innocent people. The murders are the ones ultimately to blame and should be the focus.

    April 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Precisely. thank you.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      The killing was justified not by Jones, but by the occupation of the country and the killing of afghan people.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ulrik M

    Yeah the Pastor is a retard, but the blame is on the crowd who committed the act. According to danish media, the U.N staff was beheaded... This is Mogadishu once again, we are fighting animals...

    April 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mouth Breather

      Thank you. Agree and well put.

      Murder is a voluntary act carried out with will full intent. The person who commits the act is the one responsible for their actions.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Let's humor you for a second; "beast that commits..." would be the ignorant guy who burned the book. In your view, shouldn't he be the one to pay with his, uh, head? What do the eight guys at the UN compound have to do with that?

      It seems your logic, or lack thereof, is doubly removed from normal, civil reality.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. twiddly

    Yep, that idiot pastor in Florida has blood on his hands now.
    I wish someone would behead that ignoramus!

    April 1, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • john q

      You are wishing that someone be murdered? Haven't we seen enough of that today?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    I have the same question.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Steve

    Why does this report not mention the reason behind the original demonstration? The burning of the Quran by an American pastor .... so the actions of one bigoted unrepresentative Christian causes the deaths of people (including Christians perhaps) trying to build peace in Afghanistan. The deaths are awful, but the ultimate blame is on the US pastor. How does he justify that???

    April 1, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • john q

      Ultimate blame, I would think, would be the ignorant mob who pulled the triggers and swung the swords.

      Freedom of speech is not an offense in the US.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |