New York

29 September 2006

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Khiam

The Board of Inquiry appointed to investigate the incident at Khiam, Lebanon in which four UN Military Observers were killed has now submitted its report to the Secretary-General.

UN Patrol Base at Khiam was struck by a 500 KG precision-guided aerial bomb and destroyed at 1925 hours on 25 July 2006. The Board of Inquiry notes that the Israeli authorities have accepted full responsibility for the incident and apologized to the UN for what they say was an “operational level” mistake. The Board did not have access to operational or tactical level IDF commanders involved in the incident, and was therefore unable to determine why the attacks on the UN position were not halted despite repeated demarches to the Israeli authorities from UN personnel, both in the field and at Headquarters .

The report concludes that all standard operating procedures were followed and no additional actions could have been taken by UN personnel that would have changed the outcome.

The Secretary-General once again pays tribute to the four who gave their lives in the cause of peace, and reiterates his heartfelt condolences to their families.