WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is extending his deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif by protesters enraged by the burning of a Quran in Florida.
Obama says desecration of the Quran "is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry."
But he says that does not justify attacking and killing innocent people, calling it "outrageous and an affront to human decency and dignity."
Eleven were killed Friday, including seven foreign U.N. employees.
And Afghans rioted for a second day Saturday, killing nine people in Kandahar and injuring more than 80.
Obama said in a statement that no religion tolerates "the slaughter and beheading of innocent people."
He said now was a time to draw upon the common humanity of all.
Read the full statement:
Today, the American people honor those who were lost in the attack on the United Nations in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Once again, we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were killed, and to the people of the nations that they came from. The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity. No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act. Now is a time to draw upon the common humanity that we share, and that was so exemplified by the UN workers who lost their lives trying to help the people of Afghanistan.
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