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Nepal Helicopter Crash Terrible Blow To UN Family

Loss of colleagues in Nepal crash 'terrible blow' to UN family - Ban Ki-moon

18 March 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today honoured the seven United Nations staff members who lost their lives in the tragic helicopter accident in eastern Nepal two weeks ago, paying tribute to their service to the cause of peace in the South Asian nation.

"The loss of these courageous and dedicated individuals was a terrible blow to the entire United Nations family," Mr. Ban said in a message to a memorial ceremony held today in the capital, Kathmandu, at the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). "Their commitment and professionalism will never be forgotten."

The Secretary-General asked for the UN's rededication to realizing lasting peace in Nepal, adding that this will be the best tribute to their memory.

Three Nepali UN personnel and four international arms monitors from Gambia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Sweden were killed when one of the Mission's helicopters crashed en route to Kathmandu from the Maoist cantonment site at Sindhuli.

They were Bhim Bahadur Gurung, Rabindra Khaniya, Rajesh Maharjan, Hyung Jin Park, Sondang Irawan, Famara Jammeh and Mats Norhult.

The crash also claimed the lives of three crew members - Dmitry Malyshev, Nikolay Yamshchikov and Sergey Oreshenko.

ENDS

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