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Annan Alarmed Over Rising Violence In Iraq

Alarmed Over Rising Violence In Iraq, Annan Urges Protection Of Civilians

Alarmed at the mounting violence in Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today reviewed the matter with senior UN and United States officials while urging all concerned to protect civilians.

The Secretary-General, who has been following recent developments with "great anxiety," has been in touch with US Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as with his own Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is currently in Iraq, a UN spokesman said in a statement released in New York.

Pointing to the increasing number of casualties among non-combatants, the Secretary-General appealed to all parties "to exercise restraint in order to minimize danger to innocent civilians," the spokesman said.

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