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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 642-03
August 29, 2003

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld Statement on An-Najaf Bombing

I offer my condolences to the people of Iraq for this vicious attack at one of Islam's holy shrines. I particularly want to express my sympathy to the family and followers of Ayatollah Sayid Muhammed Baqir al-Hakim for their grievous loss.

The perpetrators of this act want the opposite of what the Iraqi people, the Iraqi Governing Council, the Coalition, and the world community are all working to achieve: peace and freedom in an Iraq governed by Iraqis, free of the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime.

As success during this period of transition continues to mount, the opponents of success and of a free Iraq may continue their desperate acts. But the outcome is not in doubt: Those who committed this act and who support violence in Iraq will fail.

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