Bodies of seven UN workers flown to Kabul as protests enter third day

4 Apr 2011

Bodies of seven UN workers flown to Kabul as protests enter third day

3 April, Kabul - Afghanistan experienced its third day of protests in the wake of the burning of the Koran two weeks ago by a US pastor in Florida. Sunday’s protests occurred in many provinces and cities across the country, and were mostly peaceful though the southern region of Kandahar continued to see unrest and casualties.


Demonstrations took place in cities as distant from each other as Jalalabad in the east, Badakhshan in the north east, both Farah and Herat in the west, and also along the Jalalabad Kabul Highway.

In Jalalabad 1,200 demonstrators marched peacefully. In Kandahar on Saturday there were reports of up to ten deaths, with a further six today and dozens injured. Further demonstrations have been announced for Monday.

The United Nations is still coming to terms with the loss of seven colleagues in the attack on Friday on its operations centre in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. A demonstration of about 3,000 marched first toward the building site of the US consulate and then toward the UN buildings in the city. Infiltrated by a small group of armed men, the march turned suddenly violent and overwhelmed police and then UN security guards, four of whom were killed trying to protect staff. Three international staff were then killed by the mob.

Family members of all those killed have been notified, and their bodies returned to Kabul for repatriation to their families. The United Nations in Afghanistan will hold a memorial ceremony during the week for Joakim Dungel, Filaret Motco, Siri Skare, Min Bahadur Thapa, Chhabi Lal Purja Pun, Narayan Bahadur Thapa Magar and Dil Prasad Gurung.

”Despite this difficult situation, the UN is here to stay,” Staffan de Mistura, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Afghanistan, told media on Saturday evening press conference after his return from Mazar-e-Sharif.


"If transition is to work, the Afghan Government and the Afghan Police need to take responsibility. More ownership, more leadership, more sovereignty also mean more responsibility."


By UNAMA Kabul