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Statement by MEA Official Spokesperson on the situation in Lebanon

New Delhi
July 30, 2006 

India strongly condemns the continued irresponsible and indiscriminate bombing of Lebanon by the Israeli military, ignoring calls for restraint. Particularly outrageous is the bombing this morning of a building in Qana in south Lebanon, which has resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians, mostly women, children and old people who had taken shelter there. India expresses its deep condolences to the Government and people of Lebanon over this tragic incident. 

We also condemn the air strikes on UN peacekeeping troops deployed on the Israel-Lebanon border, which has resulted in two Indian soldiers getting wounded yesterday. It will be recalled that earlier an Indian soldier had also been hurt, and four UN peacekeeping observers had been killed as a result of Israeli bombing. We demand that such targeting of UN peacekeepers is stopped forthwith. 

India is deeply concerned over the escalation of this conflict, and reiterates its call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, so that further loss of life and property can be prevented and humanitarian aid can reach the affected people. A ceasefire should be followed by negotiations leading to a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the problems of this region that would take into account the legitimate interests and grievances of all parties.