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U.N. Workers Killed During Protest Of Quran Burning

The burning of a Quran by members of a small church in Florida last month apparently sparked a protest that turned deadly today in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, The Associated Press and other news outlets report.

According to the AP "an Afghan official says seven people have been killed ... when a Quran burning protest turned violent."

Reuters reports that 8 people were killed and that an "Afghan police spokesman" says two of the victims were beheaded.

The BBC says "protesters shouted 'Death to the USA, Death to Israel' after Friday prayers, and went on to attack the U.N. compound."

Update at 3:05 p.m. ET:"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan today," President Obama says in a statement released by the White House.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: The AP now says "at least a dozen people were killed."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.