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UN re-assesses security threats in wake of deadly attack in Nigerian capital

(Xinhua)

10:39, August 31, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations will soon conduct a global threat review in the wake of the deadly attack against the UN compound in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, which has claimed the lives of at least 23 people.

Eleven of the people confirmed to have died in last Friday's attack are UN staff, including one international staff member -- Ingrid Midtgaard of Norway. Thirty-two others are receiving treatment in hospital.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council Tuesday that he has received a briefing from Deputy Secretary- General Asha-Rose Migiro and Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security Gregory Starr, who visited the scene of the attack at the weekend and spoke with survivors.

"What we know is that this attack was the work of a suicide bomber who rammed a sport utility vehicle, at high speed, through the exit gates of the UN compound," he said.

"The UN House in Abuja, home to 26 agencies and programs, is a well-built structure, with robust security measures. This attack is therefore cause for a serious re-assessment -- not just in Nigeria, and not just in high-threat locations, but worldwide," he said.

Ban said a global threat review would begin shortly, separate to the full review of the attack and the security measures in place in Abuja.

"Meanwhile, we are doing everything possible to assist the victims and their families. That will include trauma counseling for those who might need it."

He stressed that the security of UN staff remained paramount, particularly as the UN is being increasingly targeted by terrorists worldwide.

"We must draw the lessons to be learned from Abuja. And together, we must commit the effort and resources to implement them. Our goal must be to stay, not leave, in difficult security conditions. We must continue to carry out our vital work, not lock ourselves behind fortresses. We must manage risk, not become risk averse," Ban said.

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