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Three UN aid workers killed in militia attack

Three aid workers killed in militia attack on UN refugee agency in West Timor

6 September -- Militia opposed to independence of East Timor attacked today the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in West Timor, killing at least three relief workers.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan conveyed the tragic news to heads of State and Government attending the UN Millennium Summit, which opened this morning in New York.

"This tragedy underlines once again the dangers faced by unarmed humanitarian workers serving the United Nations in conflict or post-conflict situations," Mr. Annan said, sounding a somber note at the opening of Summit. After informing world leaders of the deaths of the relief workers, he said the rest of the staff were being evacuated to East Timor.

The Secretary-General also said he had taken up the matter with the Indonesian Government "at the highest level" and would keep the Assembly informed about the attack, which took place in Atambua, West Timor.

"The Security Council, and I myself, have repeatedly expressed concern about the safety of United Nations personnel in the field, both military and civilian," he said.

At the Secretary-General's request, the General Assembly observed a moment of silence in honour of the "brave colleagues" killed in the attack.

ENDS

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