Afghan police nab `ringleader` of UN office attack

Angered by Quran burning at US church, Afghan protesters attacked UN office.

Updated: Apr 02, 2011, 13:14 PM IST

Kabul: An Afghan insurgent from one of the militants’ strongholds in the country is believed to be the ringleader of a bloody attack at a United Nations compound that killed 12 people in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Fox News quoted Rawof Taj, Deputy Provincial police chief, as saying that Afghan authorities have arrested 20 people, including a militant from Kapisa province who they suspect was the ringleader of the assault.

The killings in Afghanistan’s followed a protest march against the Quran burning issue last month which was supervised by Florida pastor Terry Jones, while another pastor, Wayne Sapp, soaked the Quran in kerosene and burned it.

However, Jones on Friday said that he does not feel responsible for the killings, and instead added that the violent protest has proved his point about Islam.

“We don’t feel responsible for that,” he said.

“It is not that we burn the Quran with some type of vindictive motive. We do not even burn it with great pleasure or any pleasure at all. We burn it because we feel a deep obligation to stay with the court system of America. The court system of America does not allow convicted criminals to go free. And that is why we feel obligated to do this,” he added.

Prior to the Quran burning incident, Jones had conducted a self-styled mock trial of the holy book wherein he pronounced the Quran guilty of five “crimes against humanity”, including the promotion of terrorist acts and “the death, rape and torture of people worldwide whose only crime is not being of the Islamic faith”.

Reverend Lawrence D Reimer, pastor of the United Church of Gainesville lamented the death of the people in Afghanistan, saying: “It’s just a horrible tragedy that this act triggered the deaths of more innocent people.”

Meanwhile, Jones has urged the United States and United Nations take “immediate action” against Muslim nations in retaliation for the deaths.

“The time has come to hold Islam accountable,” he added.