UN worker who survived terror attack to carry torch

HONOUR Bianca Kopp
HONOUR Bianca Kopp
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A UN worker who survived a terror attack in Nigeria has spoken about being given the chance to carry the Olympic torch in Portsmouth.

Bianca Kopp, inset, an Austrian national and member of staff at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will carry the flame when it makes its way through the city on July 15.

The 31-year-old survived a terrorist attack on United Nations House in Abuja, Nigeria, on August 26, 2011.

Twenty-five people were killed, including one UNODC worker, Ingrid Midtgaard, a 30-year old Norwegian national, and 10 other United Nations employees.

More than 60 people were seriously injured and the building was badly damaged.

Ms Kopp said: ‘I carry this torch to remember my departed colleagues who so needlessly lost their lives.

‘The Olympic Torch for me symbolises our resolve and unending hope to carry on the work of our fallen colleagues.’

Nominating Ms Kopp to carry the Olympic Torch on behalf of UNODC, executive director Yury Fedotov said: ‘All countries, all peoples are united in their condemnation of terrorism. We are united by our common rejection of this atrocity which finds no sanctuary in any nationality, any religion nor any legitimate political philosophy.’