Special report: Israel-Lebanon conflicts [Gallery]
BEIRUT, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese UN observer was among the four UN peacekeepers killed in an Israeli air strike on south Lebanon on Tuesday night. China strongly condemned the Israeli air raid and urged the concerned sides to ensure the safety of UN peacekeepers.
|The file photo shows Du Zhaoyu who was killed in an Israeli air raid in south Lebanon, July 26, 2006. Du Zhaoyu, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Chinese People's Liberation Army with a postgraduate degree, was born in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province. He was sent to Lebanon in January, 2006, as a UN observer. (Xinhua File Photo)|
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.
China on Wednesday felt "deeply shocked" by and
"strongly condemned" an Israeli air raid on a United Nations post in south
Lebanon, which 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.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun called in
Israeli Ambassador Yehoyada Haim Wednesday morning and made solemn
Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya called 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.
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
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.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked
and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense
Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon."
"This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a
long established and clearly marked UN post at Khiam occurred despite personal
assurances given to me by (Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that UN positions
would be spared Israeli fire," Annan said in a statement.
"I called on the government of Israel to conduct a
thorough inquiry into this tragic incident and will inform the UN of its results
as soon as possible, " he said.
In Jerusalem, Israel expressed regret on Wednesday
over the deaths of four UN observers in south Lebanon.
"Israel sincerely regrets the tragic death of the UN
personnel in south Lebanon," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton also expressed
regret over the deaths of UN observers.
"We are obviously very sorry about that. We're
attempting to get information where we can to confirm the nature of the
incident," Bolton said.
France also condemned the bombing on the UNIFIL
New Zealand condemned Israeli attacks that have
struck U.N. posts in Lebanon, demanding an immediate cease-fire by both sides.
"There should be an immediate cease-fire, but in the
absence of that, we call on both sides to cease attacks ... on U.N. posts and
personnel," said New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. Enditem
4 UN observers killed in Israeli
attack in Lebanon
UNITED NATIONS, July 25 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli air strike
killed four United Nations military observers at their base in southern Lebanon
on Tuesday, the United Nations said.
"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 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would
be spared Israeli fire," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement
issued at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Israeli airstrike destroys UN base in
BEIRUT, July 25 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli airstrike destroyed
a base of the UN observer force in south Lebanon on Tuesday night, causing
casualties, local media reported.
The reports cited Milos Strugar, spokesman of the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), as saying that an Israeli bomb
directly hit the base of the United Nations Observer Group in the southern
Lebanese border town of Khiam.