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Iraq: Annan, Bush, Other Leaders Condemn Bomb Attacks

Prague, 27 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- International leaders have strongly condemned today's series of bombings in Baghdad that killed at least 34 people and injured more than 200. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said an attack against the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was a "crime against humanity." The other attacks targeted Baghdad police stations.

The head of the ICRC delegation in Baghdad, Pierre Gassman, said the organization will begin evacuating its 35 expatriate staff members from Iraq tomorrow.

Gassman said the ICRC will decide this week what steps to take to heighten its security. But he said it will not ask for military protection from the U.S.-led coalition.

U.S. President George W. Bush today said the United States will stay its course in Iraq despite the recent escalation of violence.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan also said the U.S. will not be intimidated by the attacks.

"We will not be intimidated by these kinds of [attacks] -- that's all they seek to do, it's to intimidate us and to spread fear and chaos. We will spread hope and peace and we will continue to move forward because of the important stakes involved in Iraq -- this is the central front in the war on terrorism."

But the Russian Foreign Ministry said the attacks show that authority in Iraq must quickly be transferred to an Iraqi government so that it can take charge of its own security.