Annan: IAF hit 'apparently deliberate'
By AP AND JPOST.COM STAFF
An Israeli bomb destroyed a UN observer post on the border in southern Lebanon, killing two peacekeepers with two others feared dead under the rubble.
Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman expressed his "deep regret" for the deaths and Isarel hit the post intentionally.
"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the hasty statement of the secretary-general, insinuating that Israel has deliberately targeted the UN post," he said, calling the assertions "premature and erroneous."
The IDF said in response that it deeply regretted the "tragic death" of the UN personnel and vowed to investigate the incident.
The bomb made a on the building and shelter of the observer post in the town of Khiyam near the eastern end of the border with Israel, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL.
Annan said two UN military observers were killed with two more feared dead. The victims included observers from Austria, a Canada, China and Finland, UN and Lebanese military officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to the media. It was not immediately known which were confirmed dead.
As reports of the attack emerged,
Annan said in a statement later.
Annan said in his statement that
"I call on the goverment of Israel to conduct a full investigation into this very disturbing incident and demand that any further attack on UN positions and personnel must stop," Annan said in the statement.
Gillerman said "Israel is carrying out a thorough inquiry into this tragic incident and will inform the UN of its results as soon as possible."
US Ambassador John Bolton said the Security Council was informed that four officers were killed, but he had no other information.
"We're obviously very sorry about that. We're attempting to get information where we can to confirm the nature of the incident," Bolton said.
Since Israel launched a massive military offensive against Lebanon and Hezbollah guerrillas July 12, an international civilian employee working with UNIFIL and his wife 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.