CORRECTED - Jewish group asks UN for suicide bombings session

Fri Jan 4, 2008 1:25am EST

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(Corrects spelling of Hier in paragraph 7)

LOS ANGELES Jan 3 (Reuters) - A week after Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack, a Jewish human rights group has taken out a full page ad in the New York Times on Friday demanding that the United Nations formally address suicide bombings.

The ad by the Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center features a picture of Bhutto beneath the words "SUICIDE TERROR: What more will it take for the world to act?" and calls on the United Nations for a special session devoted to the issue.

"Unless we put suicide bombing on the top of the international community's agenda, this virulent cancer could engulf us all," it reads. "The looming threat of WMDs in the hands of suicide bombers will dwarf the casualties already suffered in 30 countries."

In the ad, which will also run in the International Herald Tribune, the Simon Wiesenthal Center also calls on the United Nations to declare suicide bombings "crimes against humanity."

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center's founder and dean, said Bhutto's assassination showed it was time for the United Nations to devote a full special session to ending suicide bombings.

"If we don't put it on the top of the international agenda, the causalities we are seeing now will be nothing compared to what's in store for us in the future," he said by phone. "Thirty or 40 years from now the reports will be: '100,000 people died today in suicide biological attack.'"

Hier noted that the UN has called special sessions to deal with such issues as global warming and AIDS and should do the same for suicide bombings in 2008.

Bhutto's assassination last week, as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi, threw Pakistan into turmoil and left questions about who was behind the gun and suicide bomb attack. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Philip Barbara)

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