The Longest War: The United Nations Vs. Bedbugs (2009-?)

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United Nations headquarters, site of fierce interspecies conflict

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The news further destabilizes the already-fragile region of Manhattan.

Insurgent bedbug forces launched a surprise counter-attack in United Nations territory on the east side of Manhattan Wednesday, leading to fears that efforts to de-escalate the long-standing insect conflict in the region are failing.

The discovery of new bedbug recruits in the region comes as discomforting news to UN security forces, which launched an aggressive campaign to eradicate militant insects inside UN property in May 2009, a campaign that increased in intensity earlier this year as the conflict attracted unwanted media attention. The year-and-a-half long effort inside the property was marked by the heavy deployment of airborne pesticides, similar to the use of poisonous gases banned by the Geneva Protocol in 1928. Observers of the conflict had largely assumed that the UN’s recent surge of force against the bedbugs had been successful, but were forced by the discovery to re-adjust their timetable estimates for the successful drawing-down of the conflict.

More on TIME.com: Bedbugs: The Beauty Shots

The insurgent forces were found hiding in compromised UN support objects. The objects have been removed to a remote area of the region, where the targets will undergo further pesticide bombardment.

Despite the continued use of poison gas by UN forces, the eradication campaign has seen few complaints from worldwide human-rights organizations. (via the New York Post)

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