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International community condemns 'cold-blooded murder' of U.N. staff in Somalia

The international community condemned the murder of two UN workers -- a Briton and a Frenchman -- in Somalia on Monday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called their murder "cold-blooded."

By JC Finley

NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- The murder of two United Nations personnel on Monday in Somalia was met by outrage from the international community.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "cold-blooded killing" of the two international consultants, who were in Somalia working on behalf of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime when they were shot at Galkayo Airport.

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The 15 member states on the UN Security Council issued a statement that they were "outraged by the killing" and "appalled that individuals working to support the people of Somalia have been killed as they sought to help Somalia progress towards peace and prosperity."

Nicholas Kay, the UN's Special Representative for Somalia, expressed his own outrage in an official statement:

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“I condemn the brutal murders. Our UN colleagues were working in support of the Somali people’s aspiration for a peaceful and stable future. There can be no justification for such a callous attack. I call on the authorities to conduct a full investigation immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay. I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The United Nations in Somalia remains committed to continuing our vital support to the Somali people as they emerge from decades of conflict."

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The men were shot Monday as they disembarked a plane at the airport, said local security official Mohamed Mire. A witness told the BBC, "One of them died inside the airport and the other one was rushed to hospital where he later died of the injuries." According to an airport official, their assailant was dressed in a police uniform.

The identities of the UN personnel, a Frenchman and a Briton, have not been made public. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack although Islamist militant group and al-Qaida affiliate, al-Shabaab, celebrated the attack, claiming "UN organisations are always the enemy of Islam."

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Nicholas Kay, the special envoy to Somalia, posted on Twitter Tuesday that the UN's continued work in Somalia would be "our homage" to his fallen colleagues.

Galkayo is 356 miles north of the capital city, Mogadishu.

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[United Nations] [BBC]

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