Karzai expresses `grief` to UN`s Ban over killings

Afghan President Hamid Karzai voiced sympathy for the deaths of seven UN staff in an attack on their office during anti-US protests.

Last Updated: Apr 02, 2011, 21:15 PM IST

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday voiced sympathy for the deaths of seven UN staff in an attack on their office during anti-US protests, his office said.

Karzai telephoned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to
give his condolences over the incident, it said.

Seven UN foreign staff -- three Europeans and and four
Nepalese guards -- were killed on Friday when an angry mob
attacked the United Nation`s headquarters in the northern city
of Mazar-i-Sharif following the burning of a Koran in the US.

Karzai "spoke this morning (Saturday) on the phone
with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to convey his grief
over the attack on the UN office in Mazar-i-Sharif in which
seven of his staff were killed", the president`s office said
in a statement.

Karzai described the attack as "ruthless" and said his
administration "is committed to launching an all-out probe
into the incident and bringing to justice those responsible",
the statement said.

The president called on Ban to "play his role in
raising public awareness on the significance of resorting to
non-violence and non-desecration of faith... particularly in
countries where such sacrilegious practices were carried out",
it said, in an apparent reference to the US.

The burning of the Quran by evangelical preacher
Pastor Wayne Sapp in a Florida church last month has sparked
angry protests in Islamic countries.

At least nine people were killed and dozens more
injured during a fresh anti-US protests in the southern Afghan
city of Kandahar on Saturday.

PTI