Syria, 19 February 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees expressed his “outrage and shock” today, strongly condemning a bomb attack that killed 18 people, including five children, near a school the agency operates in southern Syria.
“I must express my revulsion at this wanton disregard for civilian life and international law,” Filippo Grandi, Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said, deploring the deadly incident, which occurred Tuesday when an explosive struck near the Zeitoun school in Muzeirib, which is 11 km north-west of Dera’a in southern Syria.
According to UNRWA, among the dead were five Palestine refugee school children and a staff member of the Agency. At least 20 other people were injured, including two staff members and eight school children, two of whom have lost limbs.
This comes just eight days after the Relief and Works Agency condemned an explosion that injured 40 school children at its Turaan School in the same town.
Mr. Grandi expressed his revulsion at an act of such “wanton disregard,” and added that all parties to the conflict are obliged to ensure that civilians and UN installations are protected.
“Yesterday’s tragedy demonstrates beyond doubt that the conflict in Syria can only be stopped through dialogue and political negotiations,” he said, urging the parties and the international community to “act together now, because the children and people of Syria depend on all of us.”