08/08/2003

Death toll rises in terror bombing on Baghdad embassy

It has been reported today that the number of those killed in the bomb attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad has risen to 17.

Eleven people were originally reported dead at the scene of the blast on Thursday and 60 were injured. However, news agency reports today said hospital sources had confirmed that six more people had succumbed to their wounds following the blast.

The truck bomb explosion outside the Jordanian embassy compound in the Iraqi capital was said to have been carried out by "professional terrorist", according to US Central Command.

The UN envoy in Iraq has strongly condemned the attack on the Jordanian diplomatic mission as a “heinous act”.

Sergio Vieira de Mello, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, said that he was appalled by “this terrible incident”.

The people of Iraq – the people of Baghdad – have suffered enough from senseless violence, Mr Vieira de Mello’s office said in a statement.

"New terror must not be allowed to take root in this country. There can be no justification whatsoever for such actions," he said.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all who might have lost their lives or been injured by this terrible incident, as well as to the Governing Council and people of Iraq and to His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Government and people of Jordan,” he added.

Mr. Vieira de Mello's senior political adviser, Ghassan Salame, referred to a certain "impatience" over lack of Security Council action on recent developments.

"We hope that the Security Council can now be more active in finding a consensus and in sending this message to the Iraqis," Mr Salame told a briefing in Baghdad.

He said the Governing Council was "somehow expecting an answer" and Mr Annan's report also suggested a timetable would be proposed by the Security Council "to the twenty-four million Iraqis who would like to know more about their future and what to expect in the next few months or years.

"We expected the Security Council to come up at least with a presidential statement," he added.

(GMcG)

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