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China says UN observer's death shows its army is force for peace
BEIJING, Aug 7 (AFP) Aug 07, 2006
China held a memorial ceremony Monday for Du Zhaoyu, a UN observer killed late last month in Lebanon, saying his death showed its army was a force for peace.

"His death showed the world that Chinese people love peace, and the Chinese army has become an important force in safeguarding world peace," Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan told over 1,000 participants in the ceremony in Beijing.

"Du was a good son of the Chinese people and an excellent officer and diplomat," Cao said, according to the Xinhua news agency reporting from the ceremony, held at an exclusive state-run hotel in the capital.

Du, 34, was the eighth Chinese peacekeeper to die in the line of duty since 1988, Xinhua said.

China strongly condemned the July 25 Israeli attack that also killed three other UN observers from Austria, Canada and Finland, and called for an immediate investigation into the incident.

Israel expressed deep sorrow and regret over the incident but denied it was deliberate.

Three other Chinese peacekeepers were wounded by an apparent Hezbollah mortar bomb Sunday, prompting Beijing to express "strong dissatisfaction."

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