United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO Director-General shocked at heavy death toll in school in Ossetia

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, said he was deeply shocked by the heavy death toll in the hostage crisis in a school in Beslan, in the Russian Federation today, and condemned the hostage takers for sacrificing innocent lives.

“I am deeply shocked by the heavy toll levied on innocent children and civilians”, the Director-General said, “and I am outraged by the actions of terrorists who think that they have the right to risk the lives so many people, whatever their cause. It is despicable that schools – designed as havens of peace for people of good will to prepare for the future of their communities – should be turned into infernal death traps. I cannot find words to describe such actions,” said Mr Matsuura speaking at UNESCO Headquarters.

Mr Matsuura yesterday issued a communiqué calling for the release of the hostages. He stressed that “terrorism in all its forms is criminal, it is one of the most serious threat to international peace and security.”

Source Press Release No 2004 - 82
Generic Field
Spanish | Russian
Publication Date 03 Sep 2004
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