UN office attack being probed: interior ministry
KABUL(PAN): The Ministry of Interior has sent a delegation to northern Balkh province to investigate into an attack on a UN office that killed 10 foreign workers of the world's body on Friday, an official said on Saturday.
Led by Lt. Gen. Mirza Mohammad Yarman, the crime branch chief at the interior ministry, the delegation had found important lead in the assault on the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA)'s compound in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif during a protest by residents against the Quran burning incident in Florida, Zamarai Bashari, the interior ministry spokesman, told a press conference in Kabul. However, he did not elaborate.
On Friday, hundreds of people in Mazar-i-Sharif stormed the UNAMA office after the peaceful demonstration turned violent.
The angry mob torched the UN office, killing seven foreign workers with the mission, said a United Nations spokesperson.
The demonstration came weeks after a US church pastor burnt a copy of the holy Quran in protest against the 9/11 attacks in the US.
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.
UN 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 UN office and five protesters, while 20 others were injured in the incident, Balkh Governor Ata Mohammad Noor, told a press conference on Friday. 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.
The 303rd police zone in north said two UN workers were beheaded, but the interior ministry denied the beheading. "There is no witness to proof that two workers were beheaded," Bashari said.
On Saturday, nine people were killed and at least 81 others wounded after a mass rioting demonstration turned violent in Kandahar City.
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