The United Nations said today it is relocating international staff from its office in the northern province of Kunduz which was attacked this weekend, reportedly by protesters angry over last week’s burning of copies of the Koran by United States soldiers.
“This temporary relocation takes place inside Afghanistan and will be for a limited period of time,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement.
No UN staff members were hurt in Saturday’s attack. However, there were casualties among the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which responded to the incident, and among the demonstrators that had gathered outside the mission’s compound.
UNAMA said it intends to put in place additional arrangements and measures to make sure that the office can continue to operate in safety.
“The UNAMA office in Kunduz will continue to deliver the critical programmes in the region for the people who need them the most,” said the mission, adding that the world body will continue to stand by the people of Afghanistan for as long as they want it to do so.
According to media reports, more than 30 people have been killed in various cities since last week’s incident in which soldiers at a US air base inadvertently improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials, including copies of the Koran.