News / Asia

US 'Deeply Shocked' by UN Killings in Afghanistan

Afghans carrying a man, who got wounded following an attack on UN's office during a demonstration to condemn the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book by a Florida pastor, in Mazar-i- Sharif north of Kabul, Afghanistan on April. 1, 2011.
Afghans carrying a man, who got wounded following an attack on UN's office during a demonstration to condemn the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book by a Florida pastor, in Mazar-i- Sharif north of Kabul, Afghanistan on April. 1, 2011.

The United States is expressing deep shock and sadness over a mob attack on a United Nations compound in Afghanistan Friday that killed at least 12 people. The Afghan crowd reportedly was angered by the burning of a Quran last month at a Florida church, an act the State Department called contrary to U.S. traditions.

U.S. reaction was led by President Barack Obama who condemned the attack on the U.N. mission in the strongest possible terms, and appealed to all parties in Afghanistan to reject violence and resolve differences through dialogue.

The deaths occurred Friday when a demonstration outside the U.N. Assistance Mission in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-I-Sharif turned violent, with protestors storming the compound and setting fire to buildings.

News reports said those killed included Nepalese U.N. guards and European staff members and a number of local Afghans. The incident was believed to be the deadliest attack on the United Nations in Afghanistan since 2001.

In his written statement offering condolences to families of the victims, President Obama said the U.N. aid mission’s work is essential to building a stronger Afghanistan for the benefit of all its people.

The Afghan protest was reportedly spurred by the burning of a Quran two weeks ago at a small Christian church in Florida.   A pastor at the same church had threatened to burn the Muslim holy book last year but relented amid appeals from U.S. officials.

At a news briefing, State Department Acting Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said the Florida church is outside the U.S. religious mainstream and its actions contrary to American values.

"We’ve been very clear in stating this is an isolated act done by a small group of people, and it’s indeed very contrary to the American peoples’ traditions. This doesn’t reflect the respect that the people of the United States have towards Islam, and we absolutely reject this kind of religious intolerance," Toner said.

In expressing deep shock and sadness over the deaths in Mazar-I-Sharif, spokesman Toner said there is no justification for the murders of innocent people.

Speaking in Nairobi, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also said the attack - which he called "outrageous and cowardly" cannot be justified under any circumstances.

The U.N. chief dispatched his envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, to Mazar-I-Sharif to assess the situation and take "any necessary measures" to ensure the security of remaining U.N. personnel.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid