Director-General travels to Baghdad for staff members'
FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf is travelling to
Baghdad to offer his personal support to all those
affected by the tragic murder of two staff members.
As the FAO Representation in Baghdad opened on the
morning of 28 June, an armed Iraqi national forcibly gained
access through the main gate of the FAO building. He was
able to obtain an extra weapon from one of the guards
assigned by the Government of Iraq, forced his way into the
main entrance and held the FAO staff hostage. During the
event, it was learned that the intruder was also carrying
explosives, and he threatened to blow up the building.
The Security Control Centre of the United Nations Office
of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (UNOHCI) was able
to establish a line of communication by telephone with the
intruder. However, in the shooting that followed, two FAO
staff members, Mr. Yousuf Abdilleh (Somali national) and Mr.
Merwan Nafea Hassan (Iraqi national), lost their lives.
Staff members Dr. Fadil Abbas and Mr. Auday Taha (Iraqi
nationals) were seriously wounded in the shooting. Another
staff member, Mr. Mohammed Farah (Somali national), was
injured when he tried to escape through the roof of the
building. Three Iraqi guards were injured in the exchange of
fire with the gunman.
The intruder surrendered to the local security forces at
10:55 am. Investigation is underway by local security
officials and UN security personnel. The Government of Iraq
has also been requested to investigate the incident and
provide its findings.
The official funeral ceremony is being organized in
Baghdad on Friday 30 June 2000. The Food and Agriculture
Organization extends its deepest condolences to the families
of the slain men.
30 June 2000