UN calls for impartial inquiry into Israeli flotilla raid

UN Security Council calls for immediate investigation into raid that killed at least 10 activists.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel's raid on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid ships and called for a "prompt, imparital, credible, transparent" investigation.

The statement was reached after hours of discussion during an emergency session of the council in New York last night. At least 10 activists were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the ships in international waters.

In its statement, the Security Council said it "deeply regretted the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza".

The Council "condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families".

Israel maintains that its troops acted in self defence after they attacked by activists on board the ships. "This flotilla was anything, but a humanitarian mission," Israel's deputy UN ambassador Daniel Carmon said.

He said the activists had used "knives, clubs and other weapons" to attack the soldiers who boarded the lead boat, the Mavi Marmara. But activists have said the commandos were shooting as they boarded.