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Ukraine fallout ICRC worker’s body returned to Switzerland

The ICRC flag at half-mast in Geneva in honour of the Swiss staff member who was killed in the Libyan city of Sirte on June 4.

(Keystone)

The body of a Swiss ICRC worker who was killed during shelling in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk was returned to Switzerland on Thursday.

“We are still in shock over the death of Laurent Du Pasquier," said Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the Swiss-run International Committee of the Red Cross, at a press conference in Geneva.

A farewell ceremony will be held for the slain Swiss ICRC worker in Neuchâtel on Friday. His death on October 2 was the second of a Swiss ICRC staff member this year in the line of duty. Another Swiss employee was killed in Sirte in Libya on June 4.

“We have asked the authorities to investigate. So far, we have no evidence pointing to where the shelling came from and determining who is responsible for the death of the Swiss staff member,” said Stillhart.

The ICRC had halted its operations there following the shelling. “We need to review our systems, where we can work and what we can achieve, but we are determined to resume our operations in Ukraine,” Stillhart added. 

He also stressed that the need for humanitarian aid was great in the face of a fragile ceasefire and the effect of the approaching winter on 300,000 people displaced by the conflict.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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