Clerics with loudspeakers drove around the city in two cars on Thursday to invite residents to the protest. After Friday prayers at a large blue mosque in the city center, clerics again called on worshippers to attend a peaceful protest.
Several hundred people also protested the Koran burning at several sites in Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. Protesters burned a U.S. flag at a sports stadium in Herat and chanted "Death to the U.S." and "They broke the heart of Islam."
The demonstration in Mazar-i-Sharif turned violent when some protesters grabbed weapons from the UN guards and opened fire, then mobbed buildings and set fires on the compound, officials said. Demonstrators also massed in Kabul and the western city of Herat.