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Israel - Palestine

UN Security Council set to meet as death toll revised to nine

Photo: Reuters

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was called on Monday following Israeli action against a Gaza-bound aid boat. The death toll, which was originally reported as 19, was revised to nine, according to the Israeli army. Israel insists that the activists had attacked first and their troops reacted in self-defence.

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“The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy,” a White House statement said.

US President Barack Obama was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for talks in Washington. Netanyahu was in Canada on Monday, but cut his visit short following the attack. He also announced that he would cancel the US leg of his tour.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

The UN Security Council was set to meet at 17:00 GMT on Monday to hold an emergency session on the deadly raid.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army revised the number killed in the raid to nine. It had earlier said ten people died, although a private Israeli television channel had said as many as 19 had been killed.

Israel continued to insist that people on boat had links to Al-Qaeda and a military spokesperson said two guns had been discovered onboard.

In Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday they will call a Nato meeting to discuss the incident.

Nato spokesperson James Appathurai confirmed ambassadors would be holding emergency talks on Tuesday.

While several hundred protesters gathered in London to demonstrate outside the British Prime Minister's residence on Monday.

"Unacceptable and counter-productive" was how British Foreign Minister William Hague described the restrictions on aid going into Palestine.

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