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U.N. Ambassador On Lebanon Bombings

The United Nations Security Council has agreed to let the International Independent Investigation Commission lend technical assistance to the Lebanese government in its investigation of the terrorist bombings of two commuter buses near the mainly Christian town of Bikfaya. These attacks, which killed three people and injured at least eighteen others, took place on the eve of the second anniversary of the massive car bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and twenty-two others in Beirut.

U-N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombings as a "callous terrorist attack." The United Nations, he said, "strongly rejects attempts to secure political objectives through violence and the killing of innocent civilians."

The U-N Security Council established the independent commission in order to assist Lebanese authorities in their investigation of the terrorist bombing that killed Rafiq Hariri. Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff said that the U-N Security Council has since added to that mandate "numerous terrorist attacks and assassinations," including last November's murder of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. All of these attacks, said Mr. Wolff, seemingly amount to a "coordinated series of attempts to undermine the legitimacy, sovereignty and independence" of Lebanon's government.

Ambassador Wolff said that the U-N Security Council's action "is a clear message to all of those who would threaten the integrity of Lebanon and its sovereignty that this council is watching closely." The U-N Security Council, he said, is "standing up for Lebanon's sovereignty and its ability to govern itself without interference or intimidation."