At least 8 UN staff killed in north Afghan city-police

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, (Reuters) – At least  eight foreign U.N. workers were killed, two of them beheaded, today in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif after a  demonstration against the burning of Korans by a U.S. preacher,  a regional police spokesman said.
“Eight foreigners were killed and two were beheaded,” said  Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern  region.
Over a thousand protesters had flooded into the streets of  the normally peaceful city after Friday prayers, and after two  or three hours violence broke out.
A small group attacked the UN compound, throwing stones and  climbing on blast barriers to try and enter.
A police source, who declined to be named as he was not  authorised to speak to the media, said protesters had stormed  into the compound where they attacked the victims.
The chief of the mission in the city was wounded but  survived, and the dead included employees of Norwegian, Romanian  and Swedish nationalities, he added.
A United Nations spokesman confirmed that there had been  deaths of personnel at the mission in Mazar-i-Sharif but  declined to give further details, saying the situation on the  ground was still confusing.
Staffan De Mistura, the top UN representative in  Afghanistan, was heading to Mazar-i-Sharif to handle the matter  personally, he added.
Thousands of demonstrators marched through western Herat  city and around 200 in Kabul, but there was no violence at  either protest.

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