UNHCR's Guterres condemns Algiers bombings

Press Releases, 11 December 2007

11 December 2007

GENEVA UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres expressed shock and outrage Tuesday over bombings in Algiers that reportedly killed dozens of people, including one UNHCR staff member and left another missing and several injured.

"It's a tragedy and I want to express my deepest condolences to UN staff, to their families and to the Algerian people all of whom were victimised by this absolutely intolerable attack," Guterres said in Geneva's UN headquarters.

"I'm terribly shocked by these bombings to both the UN premises in Algiers and to the Constitutional Court. It doesn't make sense at all; it's totally abhorrent."

A survey of UNHCR staff in Algiers showed one of the agency's drivers was killed, one was missing and all others were accounted for although several suffered injuries from the blast that occurred in a street separating the main UN office from UNHCR's compound.

"The UN is an entity that works for world peace, an entity that tries to be an honest broker, especially when dealing with the humanitarian needs of refugees and other victims of violence and persecution," Guterres said. "This makes this type of attack even more absurd."