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Bush Condemns Iraq Beheading

Bush said those responsible "want to shake our will" 21 September 2004 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has condemned the beheading of American hostage Eugene Armstrong by militants in Iraq.

"These killers want to shake our will. They want to determine the fate of the Iraqi people. We will not allow these thugs and terrorists to decide your fate and to decide our fate," Bush said.

Bush told interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in New York today that the United States will not allow "thugs and terrorists" to decide his and Allawi's fate.

Bush met with the Iraqi leader during an annual gathering of the UN General Assembly. He said the United States expressed "heartfelt condolences" to Armstrong's family.

Allawi called the beheading a "barbaric action."

Meanwhile, Militants have claimed to have killed a second American captive in Iraq after a 24-hour deadline passed. An Islamist website announced the killing of Jack Hensley -- one of three contractors seized last week. The U.S. government could not confirm the killing.

There was no word of the fate of a Briton also being held by the Al-Tawhid wa Al-Jihad, led by Al-Qaeda ally Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. The group yesterday said in video footage of American Eugene Armstrong's killing that it would behead the other two within a day unless women inmates were freed from Abu Ghuraib and Um Qasr jails.

The U.S. military says there are no women in either of the named prisons, and only two women in U.S. detention in Iraq.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".

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