UN patrol vehicle attacked

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The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has condemned an attack by unidentified perpetrators against a UN patrol vehicle in the Nicosia buffer zone.

UNFICYP said the incident occurred at around 10 pm on Saturday inside the buffer zone, approximately three kilometres east of Yeri.

It said the perpetrators fled towards the south in a vehicle.

“A UN patrol vehicle was damaged in the incident; thankfully, no peacekeepers were harmed or injured.

“Deliberate attacks targeting peacekeepers constitute a serious crime under international law.

“UNFICYP welcomes the thorough investigation being conducted by the local authorities and calls on them to bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly.

“The mission is monitoring the situation closely and has stepped up patrols by our peacekeepers in the area to ensure that calm and stability is maintained,” said a statement.

Attacks on UN troops are infrequent as the mission has enjoyed a neutral status since its inception in the mid-1960s.

The ceasefire lines extend over 180 kilometres across the divide.

In the absence of a formal ceasefire agreement, UNFICYP’s 800-plus troops and 60-plus police officers deal with hundreds of incidents each year.

Since 1964, almost 186 UN personnel have lost their lives while serving in UNFICYP.

The Security Council established UNFICYP through resolution 186 on 4 March 1964 and has renewed the mission’s mandate for six-month terms since then.