Afghans holding chapters of the Quran shout anti-US slogans at a protest after morning prayers outside a mosque in Kabul.—AP

KABUL: Ten foreign UN workers were killed Friday in an attack on the UN headquarters in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by demonstrators protesting at the burning of the Quran by a US pastor, police told AFP.

“Ten (UN) people have been killed by the protesters (...) All the killed are foreigners,” police spokesman Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said.

A spokesman for the UN mission in Kabul, Don McNorton, said: “We are aware of an incident in our Mazar office, we are currently working to ascertain all the facts.”

Afghanistan had condemned the “disrespectful and abhorrent” burning of the Quran by evangelical preacher Pastor Wayne Sapp in a Florida church, calling it an effort to incite tension between religions.

President Hamid Karzai called on the United States to bring those responsible for the burning of the Islamic holy book on March 21 to justice.

In January last year seven tribesmen were killed when Afghan security forces opened fire at demonstrations sparked by the alleged desecration of a Quran by US troops in the southern province of Helmand, a hotbed of insurgency.

The demonstrators were trying to overrun Nato bases and police facilities when they were fired on.