UN condemns hotel bombing in Pakistan killing two staff members

A family in Pakistan gets ready to take away the relief items they have received from UNHCR

10 June 2009 – The United Nations today condemned the bombing of a hotel in northwest Pakistan that killed several people including two of its own staff members.

According to media reports as many as 18 people died in the suicide bomb-blast.

“The United Nations in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar, last night, which claimed a number of human lives and left many injured,” said a statement issued in Islamabad by the UN Country Team.

Aleksandar Vorkapic, who worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Perseveranda So of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) both died in the attack, while four other UN staff members were injured.

Mr. Vorkapic was part of an emergency team recently sent to Pakistan to assist with the current displacement crisis in the north-west of the South Asian nation, and Ms. So – known as Persy to her colleagues – was UNICEF's Chief of Education in Pakistan.

“The whole UN community feels shock and dismay on the tragic deaths and injuries,” the statement said.

Last night Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack as “a heinous terrorist attack which no cause can justify.”

“We are determined to continue our humanitarian support to over two millions Pakistani citizens who have been affected by the ongoing displacement crises,” said Fikret Akcura, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, in a statement strongly condemning the attack.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and pray for the speedy recovery of all those who have been injured,” Mr. Akcura added.

Source: UN News Centre