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7 U.N. staff killed in Northern Afghanistan

7 U.N. staff killed in Northern Afghanistan

Apr 02, 2011 - 12:25

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Seven foreign workers with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) were killed in the northern province of Balkh, said a United Nations spokesperson.

On Friday, hundreds of people in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, set the UNAMA office on fire during a protest against the burning of a holy Quran by a U.S. church pastor.

Five protesters were also killed in the incident, said an Afghan official.

Among the seven dead, three were United Nations International staff and four International Security Officers, a statement from UNAMA office said.

U.N. Special Representative, Staffan De Mistura, has flown to Mazar-i-Sharif to personally oversee the investigations, the statement, said.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed sincere condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims and appealed the Afghan government to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice, the statement added.

Among the dead were seven international workers of the U.N. office and five protesters, while 20 others were injured in the incident, Balkh Governor, said Ata Mohammad Noor, on Friday night at a press conference.

A woman was among three Europeans and four Nepalese killed in the attack, he said.

Twenty-seven people have already been detained over the attack and the case is under investigation, he said.