10 January 1994


   Iraqi Authorities to Investigate Incident, Take Appropriate Legal Action

     The following has been received from the Special Commission set up under

Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction:

     On Saturday, 8 January, as a convoy of vehicles from the United Nations

Special Commission's Chemical Destruction Group was travelling from Baghdad to

Muthanna to undertake destruction activities, a shot was fired above a United

Nations ambulance by the driver of a vehicle which was overtaking the convoy.

     The incident occurred on the outskirts of Baghdad on a three-lane highway

in heavy traffic.  The vehicles were in a convoy of eight, with Iraqi escort

vehicles in front and at the rear of the convoy.  At around 8:20 a.m., a

Mercedes with two persons inside caught up with the convoy and indicated, by

using its horn, that it wished to overtake the convoy.  After overtaking the

rear escort vehicle, it had difficulty overtaking the next vehicle, the United

Nations ambulance.  After a short while, it pulled level with the ambulance.

The driver of the Mercedes wound down his window and brandished a pistol at

the occupants of the ambulance and at the Red Crescent and United Nations

symbols on the vehicle.  Then a shot was discharged above the ambulance.

     The incident occurred just as the convoy was turning off the highway.

The Mercedes continued on the highway.  An Iraqi escort vehicle pursued the

Mercedes, without success.  However, it did manage to note its license

number.  The whole incident between the Mercedes and the ambulance lasted a

matter of seconds only.

     No one was injured in the incident and no property damage was sustained.

The personnel on the ground immediately informed the Iraqi counterparts of the

shooting, who had also witnessed it.  The Iraqi counterparts apologized for

the incident and undertook to investigate the matter immediately.

     The Field Office of the Special Commission in Baghdad had also protested

this assault with senior Iraqi officials.  The Commission has been assured by

the Iraqi authorities that the matter will be investigated, appropriate legal

actions taken and efforts made to ensure that it does not recur.