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Iraq: UN Stages Partial Evacuation Of Its Staff In Baghdad

Amman, 20 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations says it is evacuating wounded staff from Baghdad to Amman, Jordan, the day after a truck bomb blast in the Iraqi capital killed at least 17 people. A UN official said that three planes landed in the Jordanian capital today, carrying staff members wounded by the explosion at the UN's headquarters, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN secretary-general's special envoy in Iraq. The partial evacuation does not include working staff, but just wounded UN personnel.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is set to meet with the UN Security Council later today to reassess the security situation in Iraq. Annan said the UN will not be intimidated by the attack and will not withdraw from Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council has declared three days of mourning following the bomb attack.

Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi said the attack was likely carried out by remnants of the regime of deposed President Saddam Hussein. He called on Iraqi citizens to participate in reconstruction efforts so that security can be restored.