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Annan concerned at Middle East violence

Concerned at Middle East violence, Annan urges steps to restore calm

Concerned at deadly violence today in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for urgent steps to restore calm and to secure the release of all kidnapped persons.

Several people, including Palestinian police officers, have been killed, and a number of international personnel have been kidnapped, a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released in New York.

The Secretary-General “calls for an immediate end to the violence, respect for civilian lives, and urgent steps to restore calm,” Stephane Dujarric said. “The Secretary-General also calls for the immediate release of those who have been kidnapped, and full respect of the safety of international personnel on the ground.”

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