8 August 2005

Secretary-General Condemns Northern Israel Bus Killings as “Terrorist Act”

NEW YORK, 5 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is saddened by the news of the deaths of four innocent civilians, including two girls not yet twenty, who lost their lives yesterday in a bus in the Arab town of Shfar’am in northern Israel at the hands of an Israeli in Israeli Defence Forces uniform who had gone AWOL.  He sends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.  The Secretary-General condemns this terrorist act.

Although the incident is under investigation, it appears that the killer was lynched by the surrounding people.  The incident is, thus, not only a painful tragedy but also a cautionary tale, vividly illustrating the dangers of fanaticism run amok in an atmosphere of tension at a crucial time.

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