Ban sends officials after deadly UN office attack
WASHINGTON/KABUL (PAN): The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on Saturday phoned President Hamid Karzai to express his shock over a bloody attack on a UN compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif that killed at least 10 foreign employees of the world's body.
Ban told Karzai that he was sending his Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar, and Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security to Afghanistan.
“The Secretary-General told President Karzai he was saddened and shocked by the attack on the UN offices in Mazar-i-Sharif, in which three UN staff and four UN security guards were killed and others wounded,” a UN statement said.
Ban thanked Karzai for his expression of condolence and for the support he extended to his Special Representative, Staffan de Mistura, and to the UN family in Afghanistan to ensure the safety and security of UN staff.
The Secretary-General said he would continue to work with the Alliance of Civilizations to promote tolerance for all faiths. Ban spoke with Karzai over phone from Nairobi, where he is travelling.
A statement issued from the Presidential Palace in Kabul said President Hamid Karzai promised Ban that the killers of UN staff would be brought to justice.
The president expressed his deep sympathies with Ban Ki-moonover the deaths, saying a thoroughgoing investigation had been launched into the incident.
On Friday, hundreds of people in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province, set the UNAMA office on fire during a protest against the burning of the holy Quran by a US church pastor.
Three foreigners, including a woman, their four security guards and four protestors were killed and about 24 others were injured.
Meanwhile, the UNAMA chief, Staffan de Mistura had left Kabul for Balkh to personally oversee the investigation into the incident.
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