Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Unfriendly fire 

Reuters reports that the UN post where four UN observers were killed, including a Canadian soldier, was deliberately targeted by the Israelis:
. . . Kofi Annan [said] "I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. Observer post in southern Lebanon" . . . "This coordinated artillery and aerial attack on a long established and clearly marked U.N. post at Khiam occurred despite personal assurances given to me by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that U.N. positions would be spared Israeli fire," . . . The U.N. force commander in southern Lebanon, General Alain Pelligrini had been in repeated contact with Israeli officers throughout the day, stressing the need to protect that particular U.N. position from attack, he said . . . There had been 14 incidents of firing close to the outpost from Israeli forces in the afternoon before it was hit, U.N. officials said, adding that the firing continued even as rescue operations were under way.
The Vancouver Sun is reporting that the Canadian was a soldier from the Princess Pats. The Sun story also notes that Kofi Annan's statement was mocked by Israel's UN ambassador:
Israel's UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman, expressed his "deep regret" for the deaths and denied Israel 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."
Billmon says:
If you really are looking to encourage NATO peacekeepers to plunk their behinds down in southern Lebanon, this ain't the right way to do it . . .
Shrub: Shit. A Canadian? Tell Laura to send Harper a crate of maple syrup or something.

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