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The Middle East

Envoy's Niece Killed in Bus Bombing

April 11, 2002|Times Staff and Wire Reports

UNITED NATIONS — A day after he angrily assailed Palestinian suicide bombers as "spiritual progeny" of the Nazis in a speech to the Security Council here, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations learned Wednesday that his 18-year-old niece was one of eight victims of a suicide bombing on a bus in Haifa, Israel.

Ambassador Yehuda Lancry will be away from U.N. business during a period of intense Middle East diplomacy as he heads back to Israel for the funeral of Noa Shlomo, his sister's daughter, a spokesman said.

Eight passengers as well as the bomber died in Wednesday's attack on the crowded bus traveling from the northern Israeli city of Haifa to Jerusalem.

The militant Islamic group Hamas claimed responsibility.

Palestinian U.N. observer Nasser Kidwa, who maintains a cordial relationship with Lancry outside their heated U.N. debates, offered his condolences "as a professional and as a colleague here at the United Nations."

"The Palestinian side has always been against any targeting of civilians, on both sides," he said.

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