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Ban condemns killing of UN staffer in Pak

world Updated: Jul 17, 2009 10:10 IST

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the killing of a UN staffer and his bodyguard by unidentified gunmen during a failed kidnapping bid in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns this brutal attack on humanitarian personnel who are working for the well-being of the Pakistani people," his spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters at the UN headquarters here.

Zill-e-Usman, a senior staff member of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and his bodyguard were shot dead yesterday in Katcha Garhi refugee camp near Peshawar. A UN national staff member and a camp guard were injured.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns this brutal attack on humanitarian personnel who are working for the well-being of the Pakistani people," Okabe said.

"The UN remains committed to continuing humanitarian operations to assist the large number of people in need. The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the family of the victims and the Government of Pakistan," she said.

In another statement, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said: "It is unacceptable that humanitarian workers doing such vital and selfless work are attacked in this way." He called on armed groups of all descriptions to cease attacks on humanitarian workers whose mission is to provide protection and assistance to the needy.