Top UN envoy deplores latest suicide bomb blast in northern Iraq

Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq21 June 2009 – The top United Nations official in Iraq today strongly condemned a massive suicide truck bomb attack, killing over 70 people and wounding more than 180 others in the oil-rich, ethnically mixed north of the strife-torn country.

The 20 June blast just south of Kirkuk in Taza district was a “horrifying and wicked crime against innocent civilians, destroying more than 80 homes and businesses and severely damaging a mosque,” said Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq.

Mr. de Mistura stressed that while this “despicable crime is aimed at provoking a new cycle of mass violence and revenge, and aims to sow new tensions among the different communities of this area, the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people, including in Kirkuk governorate, have opted for dialogue and compromise to resolve whatever differences they may have.”

Speaking from New York, where he has been briefing the Security Council, he extended “sincere condolences to the bereaved families and wishes for a speedy recovery for the wounded” on behalf of the UN.

On Thursday, Mr. de Mistura told the Security Council that Iraq has the potential to overcome its challenges and flourish, with much depending on a number of key priorities, including an improvement in the daily lives of its people and defusing existing tensions.

The past two years have seen the Iraqis “progressively fatigued” over civil strife, slowly shedding sectarian divisions, seeking reconciliation and turning up at the polls, he told the Security Council as he wrapped up his 18-month assignment in the country.

Source: UN News Centre