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Bush Extends Sympathies, Pledges Support to Iraqi People

By K.L. Vantran
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2003 – The United States will "continue this war on terror until all the killers are brought to justice," President Bush said in extending his sympathies to the families of those killed or injured in today's attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.

"We will prevail," he pledged in a statement from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

A truck bomb hit U.N. headquarters earlier today, killing at least 13 and injuring dozens more, according to news reports. There has been no official word on the number of casualties.

The president said he has directed Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, to "provide all possible assistance to the rescue and recovery efforts."

The coalition has undertaken a "noble cause" to secure the peace, stabilize Iraq, and give it a growing, vibrant economy and freedom, Bremer said during press interviews in Iraq.

"There will be days like today, which are truly tragic, but there is absolutely no question the coalition intends to stay the course," he added.

Today's tragedy shows the terrorists' "contempt for the innocent, fear of progress, and hatred of peace," Bush said.

"They're the enemies of the Iraqi people," he added. "They're the enemies of every nation that seeks to help the Iraqi people."

The civilized world "will not be intimidated, and these killers will not determine the future of Iraq," stressed the commander-in-chief.

The president noted that Iraq is on a course toward self- government and peace. "America and our friends in the United Nations will stand with the Iraqi people as they reclaim their nation and their future," he added.

Terrorists are "testing our will" with repeated attacks and today's bombing, Bush said.

However, he noted, "Across the world they are finding that our will cannot be shaken. We will persevere through every hardship."

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell called the bombing "a heinous crime against the international community and against the Iraqi people."

The international community has been working with the Iraqi people to build a better future for Iraq, Powell said in a statement released by the State Department. "The United States strongly supports the vital role of the U.N. in Iraq's reconstruction. We will not be deterred by such immoral acts."

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