South Asia

Deaths Highlight Perils of UN Missions

April 2 (Xinhua) — Seven UN staff were killed during a clash following a protest over the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif Friday.

Official UN statistics show that, in 2009 and 2010 alone, more than 10 UN staffers died while working in Afghanistan.

According to the data, hundreds of UN personnel and peacekeeping officers have died in the line of duty in recent years due to violent attacks, earthquakes and traffic accidents all over the world:

On Aug. 19, 2003, a car bomb at the UN headquarters in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad killed 17 UN staff members, including UN envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieirade Mello and coordinator of the UN Children’s Fund in Iraq Christopher Klein-Beekman.

In the same year, 93 UN peacekeepers lost their lives in peacekeeping missions, including Chinese engineer Fu Qingli, who died in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2005, 32 UN staffers died on duty and 124 peacekeepers lost their lives in missions.

In 2006, at least 22 UN staff members and 107 peacekeepers died when carrying out missions.

In 2007, the death toll was 42, including nine peacekeepers and 33 civilian staffers.

In 2008, 166 died, including 34 staffers and 132 peacekeepers.

In 2009, 38 UN staffers were killed in violent attacks, including 31 civilian staffers and seven peacekeepers.

On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake in Haiti killed 102 UN personnel, including eight Chinese peacekeepers.

In the same year, one UN civilian staffer, 10 peacekeepers and three UN contractors lost their lives in various violent attacks.

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