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UN chief condemns attacks in southern Israel

(Xinhua)

09:41, August 19, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon voiced condemnation of Thursday's attacks that cost the lives of seven Israelis and wounded dozens of others, Ban's spokesman Farhan Haq said here on Thursday.

"The secretary-general strongly condemns today's coordinated terror attacks in southern Israel," Haq said, adding that Ban hopes that "the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice,"

"He is concerned at the risk of escalation and calls for all to act with restraint," Haq said.

Ban also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.

In a string of attacks on a civilian bus, a military patrol and a private vehicle in southern Israel on midday Thursday, militants killed seven Israelis and wounded dozens others, local media reported.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed in a statement that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would punish the perpetrators.

Calling it "grave terror attack at multiple scenes that originated from Gaza," Barak said that Israel will "strike the terrorists with all our force and determination."

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