Moscow condemns attack on UN office in Afghanistan

Condemning Friday’s attack on the UN mission in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Russia demanded measures be undertaken to stop violence against UN staff.

Russia also urged the government authorities in Afghanistan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to prevent violence.

‘We respect the religious feelings of Muslims, but the attack on the UN representatives in Mazar-e-Sharif is absolutely unacceptable,’ the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

‘We strongly condemn this crime. We urge the law enforcement bodies of Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force to take all necessary measures to stop the violence against UN and its staff.’

The dead included a Russian citizen, who previously served as a minister-counselor for the Russian Embassy in Kabul, a police source said.

Earlier in the day, the UN mission in Afghanistan was thrown into a deep crisis after a furious mob killed eight of its staff and wounded 12 in Mazar-e-Sharif, usually one of the country’s most peaceful cities.

The incident came after a demonstration against a reported burning of a Quran copy by one Pastor Terry Jones in Florida March 20.

Speaking to the BBC, Jones denied responsibility for the outbreak of hatred in Afghanistan and said ‘they (Muslims) used the Koran burning as an excuse to promote their violent activities’.

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