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Afghan mob, angry at Terry Jones' Koran burning, attacks U.N. staff; at least 20 dead

  Afghans chant anti US slogans and one holds up a sign that says 'Down with America Down with Obama' during a demonstration in Mazar-i- Sharif north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Friday

Enraged by a Koran burned 12 days ago by Florida pastor Terry Jones, halfway around the globe, about 1,000 angry people attacked United Nations guards Fridaystationed in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan, killing at least 20 U.N. personnel.

Riled up by mosque preachers at Friday prayers, the most important of the Muslim week, this was the deadliest attack on U.N. members in Afghanistan.

President Obama, who was the target of at least one Afghan protester's sign ("Down with America, Down with Obama"), quickly denounced the violence. "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today," Obama said. "The brave men and women of the United Nations, including the Afghan staff, undertake their work in support of the Afghan people. Their work is essential to building a stronger Afghanistan for the benefit of all its citizens. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to reject violence and resolve differences through dialogue."

Some are noting that this use of force was more grass-roots and emotional, and quite different from aggression organized by the Taliban.

"Foreigners have been killed in Afghanistan before, and today's attack was not the first fatal attack on UN staff.  But it was different than previous fatal attacks. Very different," Una Moore wrote on a website called UN Dispatch (unaffiliated with the United Nations) claiming the killers were not part of the Taliban, but average unarmed residents who stormed the U.N. compound and wrestled weapons from U.N. guards who were then killed.

Dove World Outreach Center church pastor Terry Jones

"Tonight, the governor of Balkh province, of which Mazar-i-Sharif is the capital, is telling the international media that the men who sacked the UN compound were Taliban infiltrators. That’s rubbish," wrote Moore, who is described on the site as an international development professional based in Afghanistan. "Local clerics drove around the city with megaphones yesterday, calling residents to protest the actions of a small group of attention-seeking, bigoted Americans. Then, during today’s protest, someone announced that not just one, but hundreds of Korans had been burned in America. A throng of enraged men rushed the gates of the UN compound, determined to draw blood."

And draw blood they did. Among the fallen were five guards from Nepal, as well as civilians from Norway, Sweden and Romania. Four local rioters were also killed and more 100 others were injured in a city in northern Afghanistan typically considered one of the calmer corners of the war-torn country.

Terry Jones, the pastor behind the controversial Koran burning, condemned the violencein a statement he posted online.

"In regard to the riots that have just taken place in Afghanistan at the UN headquarters, the actions of breaking in, setting on fire, and killing of at least 10 individuals so far is highly unacceptable for the government of the United States," Jones wrote on the Dove World Outreach Center's website.

"We, at Stand Up America Now, find this a very tragic and criminal action," Jones wrote. "The United States government and the United Nations itself, must take immediate action. We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities. The time has come to hold Islam accountable."


Koran burning threats fire up readers

Pastor of church that burned Koran calls Afghan mob killings 'very tragic'

Obama urged Florida pastor to drop plan to burn Koran on 9/11 anniversary

Note: Andrew Malcom is on vacation.

--Tony Pierce

Top photo: Afghans chant anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration in Mazar-i- Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Eight foreigners were killed  Friday after demonstrators protesting a reported burning of the Muslim holy book stormed a United Nations office in Mazar-i-Sharif, opening fire on guards and setting fires inside the compound, a top Afghan police official said. Credit: AP Photo/Mustafa Najafizada

Second photo: Dove World Outreach Center church pastor Terry Jones speaks to the media in Gainesville, Fla., in this Sept. 8 photo. Afghan protesters, apparently angered by the burning of a Koran by Jones last month, killed up to 20 U.N. staff members in Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday in the worst attack n the United Nations in Afghanistan. Reuters/Scott Audette/Files

Comments () | Archives (36)

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All the clerics that helped foster this outrage should be executed. The murderers should be executed. NO ONE must be allowed to kill because they feel their all-powerful invisible friend has been insulted.

Glad my tax dollars and American lives are being wasted helping these idiots get past the dark ages.

To the religious of all stripes: God Doesn't Need Your Help.


I will never understand religious people.

If you play with fire, sometimes people get burned...

Terry Jones is the main person responsible for these events and for the deaths of the innocent people. Good job. He should be judged for their deaths and imprisoned, it was pretty clear to what such acts of vandalism and intolerance -- like the burning that he made -- lead to. Shame on you Terry Jones!

This happens every single day in the Mideast...Problems are always solved by blowing up innocent people like cowards. This would have happened if the Koran was burned or not.

Terry Jones is an idiot of epic proportion. The blood that was let, is on HIS hands. He KNEW what kind of reaction he would provoke...yet he did it anyway. He makes Christianity look like it is made up of the same kind of radicalism he claims to be so destructive. What a hypocrite. Are you proud of yourself Jones ? You got to have your childish way, and look what you caused.

Really, Pastor Jones. Why did you have to burn the Koran?
Did had to expect some backlash, some riots. What good did that burning do?
Now the death of 12 UN workers.

Terry Jones should be arrested and tried for the deaths of the innocent U. N. guards and staffers that he directly or indirectly caused by his senseless burning of a religious book. As a Buddhist priest and Christian, I find his actions and of all those who support him despicable and, if anything, anti-Christian. I sincerely hope he repents of his sins.

My nephew serves in our military along with other brave soldiers.How dare you put them in any more danger than they are already in you wä you have a family member or child in our military? You nut. You should go to jail.

I really don't think Terry Jones thought anybody would be injured or killed.... However, if you are going to burn a peice of trash you should burn that type of in private... after all thats what heathens do they kill needlessly. I as a Christian would be very angry at somebody burning a bible but as a Christian I know that 'vengance will be the Lords', therefor I would need not take any physical action.

I would not like anyone burning my bible, but I know I would never KILL someone if they did. They just want another excuse to riot and kill, and they found one! Give me a break! Its a book, not a living soul!

terry jones' response is unacceptible...he's acting like he was some sort of innocent bystander..... actions have with your intolerance first,"pastor."

Randy ! You don't think Jones thought that anybody would be killed ? How many ways did he need it spelled out for him. Of course each of us is ultimately responsible for our own actions...but his had a predictable outcome.
He MUST be accountable for them.

Of course the blame will remain with Father Jones.
Apologies to Mother Jones (unrelated)
Nevertheless, the Main Stream Media are in no small part responsible for this disaster : why did you allow so much space and attention to this not-even-useful idiot ? It would me more sensible that you be content with Paris Hilton, lady Gaga, et al.
At least they are funny (rarely) and they did no kill anybody (yet).

The very definition of the lowest common denominator, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Pastor Jones, you should be arrested and tried as a war criminal! How dare you speak for all Americans and spread your tyantical stupid views about Islam. at latest count your selfish actions have killed 20 people.

At a time when our young men and women are giving there lives to protect our way of life around the world you decide to take your back woods religion and make a public spectical of yourself. If I were you I would consider hireing a guard or two becuse historicaly, the culture that you decided to attack beheads people for crimes against thier religion.

We are all nuts. Terry Jones' people for burning someone else's holy book. Afghan fanatics for killing people over the burning of paper. Hate begets hate begets hate ... The lack of accepting the differences (let alone tolerating) in how each of us chooses to believe in God is appalling, immature, and worthy of flooding the earth a second time.

That stupid sob should be charged with incitement to violence. He was warned over and over again that this would happen.

Fundies of any religion are dangerous...

I cant beleive people are blaming the moronic book burner for these murders.

The Pastor is a book burning moron, BUT BOOK BURNING IS NOT MASS MURDER!

I see fascists here saying the pastor should be put charged with crimes, WHAT CRIMES? Are we not a free nation still? Has capitulation to muslim extremists eroded the fabric of American Freedom? Has Speech, no matter how stupid it is, been equated to mass murder now?

These Murderers committed henious crimes, not because a stupid pastor burned a book, but because they want the world to capitulate to thier religion.

America, and the liberty it once stood for, is finished if the fascists on this page get thier way.


I don't think Terry Jones is in any way responsible for these events! He did not commit any crime and is not responsible for the mad shameful behavior of unintelligent men fooled by their religious gurus.
My condolences to the innocent UN staff! UN mission does not represent the US. And the mere fact that the UN mission was attacked is a clear demonstration of the misunderstanding the protesters believed in..

I think that the FBI and local police should at least throw this guy in jail for a hate crime and my Grandmother thinks that he should be sent off to Afghanistan and let the protesters have their way with him. I doubt that either will happen, though. I would check his cable/satellite TV box to see whether he has watched certain cable/satellite news hate inciters.

Put the responsibility where it belongs. Those mad people in Afghanistant that went out and killed just anyone, are the only ones to blame for those people they killed. American flags are sometimes burned, children are abused by adults, if you kill someone in retaliation for these acts, you are held responsible. Admit it, many Afghan people are terrorist, they hate America and will never like it. Bring all American soldiers home now.

You Terry Jones talk of radical muslims, well what about your radical actions that resulted in many innocent lives being taken.You are self-decieved to think you are right in what you did. That was no an act of love ,let alone christian love. You will not change people's beliefs with hateful actions. The bible tells us to win them over with the love we show to them,where you have grossly failed. THEIR BLOOD IS ON YOUR HEAD!!! You probably have a price on your head now.You will become the hunted now. God have mercy on you, you will need it to stay alive! When you die you will not be dying a martyer, cause no one thinks what you did is brave. You might even get to see hell, who can know?

Religion is ignorant bliss. Believe in "our" God and enjoy everlasting life! Do what we say and gain the favor of our God! I'd rather spend eternity in Hell than spend a second in Heaven with the likes of Jones, or any other hypocritical religious fanatic, Christian. Muslim, or otherwise....lemmings.

Terry Jones, you sir, are the most ignorant and foolish person I have ever seen. You dare put men and women of the UN and the United States in danger because of your juvenile tactics? You should be imprisoned for life for such a crime against another person's Religion, Race, and way of life.

You say your a Christian, and you promote violence and acts of Revenge when Jesus and the followers of Christianity are supposed to honor and respect everyone else, no matter their Religion or their culture.

You're an ignorant fool who should be shackled and your radical and violent messages destroyed. You are the reason why people around the world hate America, you say your standing up for us, but you're merely throwing us into the fire along with you. I want my children to grow up in a world where people like you are just a bad memory in a history book.

Up with America, down with you.

Terry Jones you have our attention.

Do you need it that badly that you are willing to get people killed?

Your supposed to bring peace and hope, not judgement and blood shed.

Anyone who is blaming Terry Jones is an ignorant apologist for the murdering scum, so representative of islam. The filthy, vile cowards and their defenders in this comment section make me feel as sick as they surely are.
Do you think for one minute if someone burned a Bible in lieu of that stinking Quran that anyone would go on a mass murdering binge like these subhuman muslims? Does anyone else also expect that the Christian/Jewish murderers, assuming there were any, would then be widely defended and the Bible burner vilified? I think not. I suspect what we have here are the usual cadre of Christian hating, Jew hating apologists for and supporters of muslims. That this filthy behavior might have been anticipated based on the utter rottenness of most muslims is no justification for it and is no reason to be cowed out of doing it.
Life must be very difficult for those of you having to go through life with all that hatred in your heart and emptiness in your head. I would offer my condolences but in this case, no. Your life should be hard, at least until you can free yourselves of your unreasoned hatreds and uncontrolled propensity for barbaric violence. Tell your muslim buddies also.
Rich in New Mexico
Please note lack of capitalization, where used is intentional.

In response to Bradford Tiernan,
I completely agree with you. I am stunned that so many of the commentators here are so willing to be intimidated out of their freedoms. I am a Veteran and I feel like I wasted my efforts defending the freedoms of people who are too cowardly to enjoy them and who so willingly 'run away' when confronted by a bunch of medieval thugs. Thank God the vast majority of Americans are brave souls and completely willing to put it on the line for us, as they (our servicemen and women) are currently doing. Cowering in the face of a threat is no way to thank them. We should all be willing to exercise the freedoms they fighting for.
I find their behavior reprehensible, disgusting and frankly, as an American, embarrassing. Grow a doggone spine people.
Rich in New Mexico

I think this Terry Jones is very very smart. He lived in America and burnt the Koran in his Church safely. He gets his fame. When these people were irritated by his behavior, they cannot give him even a single touch.
He is well-protected and enjoys giving his ignorant comments in a safe place.

What Jones did may not have been smart, but to blame him for the murdering of UN officials 4,ooo miles away by Islaim radicials is insane.
Jones's point was proven by the reaction of the these people to his burning of the Koran. They are not civilized.

Pastor Terry Jones should be brought to trial.

Thank you Rich, for telling it like it is. I agree with everything you said.

Infinite Reality (God) vs. Finite Idolatry (Koran):

"If you want evidence that the Koran is an idol, simply make a public announcement that you're going to burn one. To be murdered in Afghanistan, all you need to do is translate one. If you like European riots, draw a cartoon of its author. The Islamic rioters' prostration to Mohammed's Koran would be an annoyance to Gabriel. Only Lucifer insists on bowing and prostration. Gabriel won't tolerate it." (The Lost - page 12)

Best Regards,

Frank Hatch
Initial Mass Displacements

This has nothing to do with religious people. truely spiritual people would never hurt someone else deliberatly. this has to do with an ideology that says all non believers should covert or die. the actions taken by the people of Islam proves that their ideology is flawed.I don't believe that all those involved in Islam are bad but their fundamental belief in the heart is, Islam or death. Christians believe, "The Word is for those who will hear" it is your choice. Idon't care if you burn a ware house full of bibles. I not going to hunt you down and kill you. just the fact that we in the west a afraid to berate Islam or its prophet, is proof that their terrorism is working. these people do not blend into other societies. they take them over. this is what they have been doing since Muhamed established Islam.
also, the burning of the Koran is being condemed as un American? hogwash! a fundamental right in aamerica is the freedom of speech and expression . without it we would be America!

PS when was the last a grand mullah spoke out against any act of terrorism?

Dialectical Logic:

"Dialectical logic is found in the core of Eastern and Western thought. It is a common flaw to the human species. Although the various human cultures have developed their own methods of using this flaw, it is not simply a cultural defect. However, since each culture uses this flaw to defend and to define itself, every attempt to correct the flaw is perceived to be an attack on the culture itself. Islamists are particularly sensitive to this perceived attack; because the dialectical Absolute of the Koran is found in the attempt to synthesize the Old and New Testaments." (The Lost - page 9)

Best Regards,

Frank Hatch
Initial Mass Displacements

This is why I don't care for religious zealots who think they're better than another religion, even if they are similar on a base level.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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