Ten people died on Saturday in protests against a Koran burning in the U.S., a day after seven U.N. staff were killed by a mob in the worst attack on the world body in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.

The fresh protests began in the centre of the main southern city of Kandahar and spread as police clashed with crowds marching towards the U.N. offices and provincial administration headquarters, witnesses said. Police had fired into the air to deter thousands of protesters heading towards the buildings, said an AFP reporter.

A senior doctor said the death toll had risen to 10. About 83 were injured, including two members of the Afghan security forces, he said. Provincial authorities had earlier given a toll of nine dead and 73 injured.

The protest came a day after seven U.N. foreign staff — three Europeans and four Nepalese guards — were killed during demonstrations in the relatively calm city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Mazar-i-Sharif violence following a battle lasting more than three hours in which part of the U.N. compound was burned down amid small-arms fire and explosions. — AFP