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Iraq: International Community Condemns Attack On UN In Baghdad

United Nations, 20 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The international community is condemning an attack yesterday on the UN headquarters in Baghdad, in which a truck bomb killed at least 17 people -- including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN's top envoy to Iraq. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which also killed Christopher Klein-Beekman, the UN children's fund (UNICEF) coordinator for Iraq.

China, Britain, Japan, Syria, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand are among the many countries that have condemned the attack. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the bombing shows the international community must become more heavily involved in restoring order in Iraq.

U.S. President George W. Bush said the attack will not stop the United States and the United Nations from helping to rebuild Iraq. "Iraq is on an irreversible course toward self-government and peace, and America and our friends in the United Nations will stand with the Iraqi people as they reclaim their nation and their future," Bush said.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is scheduled to speak at a news conference at 10 a.m. Prague time before addressing the UN Security Council on the matter later today.