UN official condemns attack on UN headquarters in Nigeria
UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss Friday condemned in the "strongest terms" the car bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Nigeria, saying it is a "great loss for the United Nations family.", Xinhua reported.
"The president of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, has learned with shock and deep sadness about the suicide attack today against the United Nations House and staff in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria," said a statement released by Deiss' spokesperson.
In the statement, Deiss "condemns in the strongest terms this attack against the United Nations' presence in the country, which has led to a number of dead and many wounded."
The compound in Abuja, a series of buildings that house the offices of 26 UN humanitarian and development agencies, was struck by a car bomb at around 11 a.m. local time. Hundreds of UN staff members were working in the compound at the time of the attack.
The United Nations Staff Union and its Standing Committee on the Security and Independence of the International Civil Service also strongly condemned the "shocking attack."
The Union calls on the Nigerian authorities to do the "utmost to apprehend the organizers of this horrendous act."
Earlier on Friday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly deplored the attack.
"This was an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others. We condemn this terrible act, utterly," Ban told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
The UN chief said he will also call the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, soon to discuss the attack. The Security Council observed a minute's silence before the start of a meeting Friday on UN peacekeeping operations, during which individual delegations all voiced their strong condemnation of the attack.
UN flags will be flown at half-mast for three days starting Saturday.