Attack on son of UN staff drug related: local party

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An attack on the son of a UN diplomat which led the world body to urge its staff to beware of crime in Geneva was actually a drug deal turned sour, a local political party said Tuesday.

"The son of the American diplomat was buying drugs when he was assaulted," the local populist party Geneva Citizen's Movement (MCG) said in a statement.

The 19-year-old American, son of a UN official, had earlier told local media that he was assaulted after he spent the night with friends in a night club.

According to media reports, he was attacked by a dozen or so individuals after he told them he was an American, and that he was nearly thrown into the Rhone river before escaping.

The incident led United Nations security officials to recommend local staff to exercise caution when going about town, especially at night.

One newspaper even said Geneva had become "the Bronx", a reference to the New York City borough, citing a 30 percent rise in criminality since the beginning of the year.

The Swiss government then stepped in, saying it was "concerned" about the security situation in Geneva, a city more famed for its chocolate and banking than for a high crime rate.

But Francois Baertschi, Secretary General of the MCG, told AFP that the reason he was attacked was "because he wanted to take drugs."

"They wanted to pass him off as the little victim, but that is not the case," he said, adding however that he thought there was a real problem with crime in the city.

© 2011 AFP

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