Gunman in FAO Killings Demanded Lifting of Sanctions on Iraq

Published June 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The gunman who killed two UN employees at the Baghdad headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday demanded the lifting of the decade-old embargo on Iraq, reported AFP, quoting a FAO spokesman. 

"The attacker demanded the lifting of sanctions, the building of a monument symbolizing the suffering of the Iraqi people under embargo and an improvement of the (UN) food basket offered to Iraqis," the spokesman told journalists. 

The gunman wrote down his demands and handed them to a gardener after bursting into the building and opening fire, said AFP. 

The spokesman said the assailant fired with a Kalashnikov assault rifle at FAO employers, killing two and injuring several others, three of whom were Iraqi security guards, added AFP. 

"One of the workers killed was an Iraqi and the other a foreigner," a UN official told Reuters.  

He named the workers as Yusuf Abdullah, a Somali national who was deputy director of the Baghdad office and added that six people were injured, added Reuters. 

Two of the injured were hit by bullets while a third broke a leg jumping from a window of the building, FAO said from its Rome headquarters. 

"The incident lasted around two hours before the gunman surrendered to Iraqi security officers.  

An Iraqi official, confirming the incident, said the gunman would be presented to journalists later Wednesday, reported AFP. 

The FAO, which employs around 40 staffers in Baghdad and whose office is located in the southern capital district of Jadriya, operates an aid program in northern Iraq under the UN Oil-for-Food scheme as well as a regular country program. 

Its representative in Iraq, Amir Abdullah Khalil, has been a vocal critic of the UN program, according to AFP - (Several Sources)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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