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UN: 28 Civilian Staff, 7 Peacekeepers Killed in 2009

Agency calls attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur and elsewhere 'disturbing trend'

United Nations officials say 28 civilian staff members and seven U.N. peacekeepers were killed in acts of violence in 2009.

The U.N. Staff Union said Tuesday 17 U.N. staff members died in separate attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan last year.

Union President Stephen Kisambira said U.N. personnel paid with their lives in order to assist populations in distress.

Kisambira said attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Darfur continued in 2009 in an effort to intimidate and undermine the United Nations, in what he called a particularly disturbing trend. He said it is frustrating that hardly anyone has been held responsible.

Other deaths of U.N. personnel in 2009 occurred in Colombia, Gaza, Haiti and Somalia.

The U.N. says 34 staff members were killed in 2008 and 42 in 2007. In 2007, 17 staff members died in the terrorist bombing of the U.N. offices in Algiers, making the year one of the deadliest for U.N. personnel.