Seven UN peacekeepers, 28 UN civilians killed in 2009

Seven UN peacekeepers, 28 UN civilians killed in 2009New York, Jan 6 - Seven troopers serving in UN peacekeeping operations and at least 28 civilians were killed in 2009 as a result of violent acts, the UN Staff Union said.

Six of the seven peacekeepers were killed in three separate incidents in Sudan's Darfur region, while the seventh death was that of the deputy force commander of the UN mission in Darfur, who was gunned down while on holiday in his country, Pakistan.

Of the UN civilian deaths, 18 were killed while on duty in Pakistan and Afghanistan and five who worked for the UN relief organisation UNRWA were killed during the Israeli-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip last year.

"Once again, UN personnel had to pay with their lives for their effort to assist populations in distress," Stephen Kisambira, president of the union, said Tuesday.

A total of 34 UN personnel were killed while on mission in 2008, compared to 42 deaths in 2007, which included 17 deaths when terrorists bombed the UN office in Algiers. (dpa)