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Home >> China
UPDATED: 12:59, July 26, 2006
China condemns Israeli air raid on UN post in Lebanon
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China on Wednesday felt "deeply shocked" by and "strongly condemned" an Israeli air raid on a United Nations post in south Lebanon, and urged for immediate ceasefire.

The air raid killed four UN observers, including one from China.

"China urges the concerned sides, especially Israel, to take tangible measures to ensure the security of UN peacekeepers," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao on Wednesday.

It called concerned sides back to the track of talks to seek for a political solution.

"China will work with the international community, further diplomatic efforts and push the Middle East situation back to peace and stability at an early date," Liu said.

"We feel deep sorrow for the victims and convey sincere condolences to their families," Liu said.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun called in Israeli Ambassador Yehoyada Haim Wednesday morning and made solemn representations.

"China strongly condemns the activity to raid the UN peacekeeping post and urge Israel to carry out thorough investigation and apologize to China and the victim's families and coordinate with China to deal with the aftermath," Zhao told the ambassador.

Yehoyada Haim expressed the Israeli government's apology for the event, pledging to carry out broad and in-depth investigation to find the truth at an early date.

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya on Wednesday made an emergency call to UN Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown, asking the UN to require Israel to take every measure to ensure the security of UN peacekeepers, including those from China, and investigate the event.

The Chinese victim Du Zhaoyu was among the four UN peacekeepers killed in the Israeli air strike Tuesday night.

One Chinese killed in Israeli airstrike

A Chinese UN observer was among the four UN peacekeepers killed in an Israeli air strike on south Lebanon on Tuesday night.

The body of the Chinese victim, whose name is Du Zhaoyu, has been recovered, said sources of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The UN observer from China was part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in south Lebanon.

Milos Struger, spokesman of the UNIFIL, said earlier that an Israeli bomb directly hit the base of the United Nations Observer Group in the town of Khiam near the eastern end of the border with Israel.

By 03:10 am local time Wednesday, the UNIFIL have recovered three bodies of the victims from the rubble, including the Chinese observer.

The other three dead UN observers were from Finland, Austria and Canada, the UNIFIL sources confirmed.

Since Israel launched a massive military offensive against Lebanon and Hezbollah guerrillas on July 12, a Nigerian civilian employee working with UNIFIL and his wife, also a Nigerian, have been killed in the crossfire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerrillas in the southern port city of Tyre.

Five UNIFIL soldiers and one military observer have also been wounded, Struger said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. Observer post in southern Lebanon." "This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked U.N. post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by (Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared Israeli fire," Annan said in a statement.

In Jerusalem, Israel expressed regret on Wednesday over the deaths of four U.N. observers in south Lebanon.

"Israel sincerely regrets the tragic death of the U.N. personnel in south Lebanon," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.

Source: Xinhua


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