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UN condemns aid worker death in Syria

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The UN's Palestinian refugee agency on Wednesday condemned the killing of one of its staff members in Syria, saying eight agency workers had now died in the country's two-year civil war.

"UNRWA strongly condemns the killing of Mr Imad Abdelhafeez, the eighth staff member to lose his life in the Syria conflict, and the second in less than a month," it said in a statement.

Abdelhafeez disappeared on August 7 and his body was found the following day with "signs of gunshot wounds," said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The facts surrounding his death had not yet been verified, UNRWA said, while adding there were "indications that kidnappers may have been involved."

Abdelhafeez was based in central Damascus.

UNRWA has nine registered camps in Syria for Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced from their homes when the state of Israel was created in 1948 and their descendants.

In June, between 12 and 15 percent of the Palestinian refugee population of Syria had fled the country, according to UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi.

Between 70-80 percent of the approximately registered 530,000 Palestinians in Syria had at that time been displaced.

Some refugee camps, including Yarmuk in Damascus, have been the scene of heavy fighting in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that broke out in March 2011.

jad/hc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130814/un-condemns-aid-worker-death-syria