United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO Director-General condemns killing of Iraqi students and deplores the violence against academics and intellectuals

Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today expressed his shock and sorrow over the brutal killing of students at Baghdad’s al-Mustansiriyah University on 16 January and condemned the campaign of violence waged against Iraq’s academics and intellectuals.

“I am profoundly shocked and saddened by this carnage - the latest act in a deplorable and relentless campaign of violence against Iraq’s academics and intellectuals. This is not only a human tragedy but also a terrible setback for the country’s reconstruction,” said the Director-General.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families of every student killed,” Mr Matsuura said. “I call on the Government of Iraq to do its utmost to defend the basic human right of young Iraqis to education, which is one of the keys to ensuring the right of its people to a peaceful and prosperous future.”

Over 60 students were killed and 200 wounded when two car bombs exploded near the entrance of the Al-Mustansiriyah University in Baghdad on Tuesday. A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt then blew himself up at the rear gate of the campus.

According to a university official, most of the victims were female students who were heading towards home.

Source Press Release N°2007-04
Publication Date 18 Jan 2007
© UNESCO 1995-2007 - ID: 36484