UN chief condemns deadly attack on UN staff in Somalia

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The head of the UN on Monday sharply condemned a suicide bomb attack in Somalia that killed at least seven people, including four UN staff.

“[Ban Ki-moon] condemns in the strongest terms this attack against UN staff who are working to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Somalia, including the country’s children, many of whom are in desperate need,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

The explosion in Garoowe, the main city in the semiautonomous northern Puntland region, targeted a UN bus carrying local and foreign staff, according to eyewitnesses.

The slain staff were working for the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said the New York-based body.

Somali militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which left four others critically injured.

Puntland has lrecently experienced several attacks by the group, which has moved to remote mountainous regions after fleeing sustained attacks by the Somali army and African Union troops in the south.

“The horrific attack on our UNICEF colleagues today in northern Somalia is an assault not only on them but on the people they served,” said Anthony Lake, head of the agency. “Our immediate thoughts are with the families of the four staff members who were killed and with those who were injured.”

Witnesses said 10 people were killed in Monday’s attack.

“Our UN colleagues are saddened but unified in the face of this tragedy. The United Nations remains determined to stand by the people of Somalia,” Nick Kay, UN special envoy for Somalia, said in a statement.

 

Source: Turkish Weekly

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