On Friday, April 1st 2011, in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan five demonstrators and seven United Nations employees were killed when an angry group attacked the United Nations compound. The protests have now spread to the southern region. Government officials are reporting that nine civilians are dead and many are injured. U.N. Peacekeeping Director, Alain Le Roy said, “I understand there were hundreds, if not thousands, of demonstrators. Some of them were clearly armed and they stormed into the building.” The demonstrators were chanting “Death to America” as they broke into the U.N. Compound.
The violence was sparked by protests about the burning of the Quran by a pastor in Gainesville, Florida. Last year, Pastor Terry Jones achieved international notoriety when he planned “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of September 11th. This Quran burning day never actually took place. However, the church’s website did announce “International Judge the Koran Day” which was scheduled to be held last month. Another post on the site, “showed an image of a burning book and read ‘The event is over, the Koran was found guilty and a copy was burned inside the building.’”
The killings in Mazar-e Sharif were condemned by the U.N Security Council and other international organizations.