11 January 2005
Secretary-General Saddened by Death of UN Military Observer in Lebanon
NEW YORK, 10 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a statement attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a French United Nations military observer and the injury of his Swedish colleague while on patrol along the Blue Line yesterday. The Secretary-Generals heartfelt condolences go to the family of the deceased. The observers were hit by a barrage of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) tank and machine gun fire that followed a Hizbollah roadside bomb attack on an IDF patrol on the Israeli side of the line in the Shaba farms. The Hizbollah action killed one IDF soldier and injured three others.
The Secretary-General condemns the military escalation along the Blue Line. The Secretary-General also wishes to underscore both parties responsibility to ensure the safety of UN personnel deployed in the region. He urges Israel and Lebanon to exercise maximum restraint and not further jeopardize the relative quiet that has characterized the Blue Line for the past six months.
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