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Annan Denounces Iraqi Terror Attack

Annan Denounces Iraqi Terror Attack As Seeking To Undermine Peace And Democracy

Denouncing the latest terrorist attack in Iraq as "a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law" that seeks to undermine the prospects of peace, democracy and prosperity, Secretary-General Kofi Annan vowed today that the United Nations will continue to stand by the Iraqi people as they try to rebuild their country.

"The Secretary-General appeals to all Iraqis to refrain from all acts of violence, put aside their differences and work together in a spirit of national reconciliation," a statement issued by his spokesman said of a suicide car bombing in Hillah, in which more than 110 civilians, police and National Guard volunteers were reportedly killed and at least 130 injured.

"Ultimately, the foundations of a new Iraq can only be built through peaceful means, based on dialogue, mutual understanding and compromise," the statement added.

The attack, the most deadly since the 30 January elections, came as Mr. Annan's Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, has held talks across the full political spectrum in Iraq in an effort to ensure that all elements participate in writing the new constitution, the main task of the new assembly, especially in view of the very low voter turnout and consequent representation of Sunni Arabs.

Shiite Muslim Arabs, who voted in large numbers, are estimated to constitute about 60 per cent of the population, while Kurds – who also turned out en masse for the polls – and Sunni Arabs make up about 20 per cent each.

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