"For China and for others," China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said, "we
condemn this because I think any attack on the United Nations positions and the
United Nations personnel is inexcusable and unacceptable."
President Hu Jintao instructed officials to condemn the attack, said a
statement from the Foreign Ministry.
Hu "demanded the departments concerned properly handle
the aftermath of the incident and take every measure necessary to ensure the
safety of Chinese nationals in Lebanon," it said.
Lebanese man reacts as he looks at destruction caused by Israeli air
strikes in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a strong hold of Hezbollah,
July 25, 2006. [AFP]
Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said earlier that China felt "deeply shocked"
by and "strongly condemned" the Israeli air raid.
The country called for an immediate ceasefire. "China urges the concerned
sides, especially Israel, to take tangible measures to ensure the security of UN
peacekeepers," Liu said.
"China will work with the international community, increase diplomatic
efforts and push the Middle East situation back to peace and stability at an
early date," he added.
Austria and Finland, both of which also lost citizens in the attack,
condemned the bombing, with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja calling it
"truly tragic." The fourth victim of the bombing was Canadian.
"These so-called precision attacks seem to be mainly targeting everyone else
except the Hezbollah," Tuomioja said. "The longer this continues the more likely
it is that there will be more similar victims."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Israel on Tuesday to investigate
what he termed the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the UN observer post.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday he had spoken to Annan
to express "deep sorrow" over the four deaths in Lebanon and to say he was
ordering an investigation.
But he voiced shock at Annan's suggestion that the attack was deliberate.
Following a closed-door briefing on the attack by Jane Holl Lute, a deputy
head of UN peacekeeping operations, council members hoped the 15-nation body
would adopt a statement on Wednesday or Thursday.