Bremer Declares 'Outrage' At 'Cowardly' Irbil Bombings
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2004 Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III expressed anger and dismay over today's suicide bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, in a statement the coalition administrator released from Baghdad today.
The Irbil bombings killed 56 Iraqis and wounded about 200 more, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director of Combined Joint Task Force 7, said at a Baghdad news conference.
News reports said two suicide bombers separately attacked the offices of two American-supported Kurdish political parties.
"Any of a number of foreign terrorist groups attempting to operate inside of Iraq" could have been responsible for the bombings, Kimmitt said, noting U.S. and Iraqi security authorities are investigating the incidents.
Daniel Senor, the Coalition Provisional Authority's senior spokesman, read Bremer's statement about the bombings at the news conference.
"On behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority, I want to express my outrage at today's terrorist bombings in Irbil, which constituted a cowardly attack on both innocent human beings, as well as on the very principle of democratic pluralism in Iraq," Bremer stated.
Bremer also expressed his "deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives in today's bombings, as well as to those who are injured."
In his statement, Bremer pledged "to work with the Iraqi security forces to find, capture and bring to justice those responsible for these horrible acts and those who aided them."
Bremer also conveyed U.S. and coalition determination to win the war on terror.
"Those responsible for today's attacks are seeking to halt Iraq's progress on the path to sovereignty and democracy," Bremer noted in his statement.
"As we mourn today's victims, let us resolve to vigorously work to ensure that the terrorists fail, and that the people of Iraq succeed at arriving at the better, democratic future that is rightfully theirs," Bremer concluded.
The Irbil bombing attacks followed separate Jan. 31 attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens. A roadside bomb explosion killed three American soldiers during a convoy between Tikrit and Kirkuk, and nine people were killed and at least 45 were injured that day when a suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi police station in Mosul.