Afghan protesters angered by the burning of a Koran by an obscure U.S. pastor killed up to 20 U.N. staff, beheading two foreigners, when they over-ran a compound in a normally peaceful northern city on Friday in the worst ever attack on the U.N. in Afghanistan.
At least eight foreigners were among the dead after attackers took out security guards, burned parts of the compound and climbed up blast walls to topple a guard tower, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern region.
Five protesters were also killed and around 20 wounded.
The governor of Balkh province said insurgents had used the march as cover to attack the compound, in a battle that raged for several hours and raises serious questions about plans to make the city a pilot for security transfer to national forces.
Full story: Up to 20 U.N. staff killed in north Afghan city