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Zarqawi’s death removes ‘heinous & dangerous man'

Zarqawi’s death removes ‘heinous and dangerous man’ – Annan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today the reported death in Iraq of the Jordanian insurgent Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a “relief” since such a “such a heinous and dangerous man” will no longer be around to continue harming Iraqis, even though violence was unlikely to end with his elimination in the war-torn country.

“This is an individual who has been responsible for many heinous crimes, caused lots of problems in Iraq for the Government and the people of Iraq – the people of Iraq who are afraid to step out, the people of Iraq who are only demanding peace, stability, and to have their streets back,” Mr. Annan told reporters at a press encounter.

“I think they will all be relieved that he is gone. And of course, we cannot pretend that that will mean the end of the violence. But it is a relief that such a heinous and dangerous man who has caused so much harm to the Iraqis is no longer around to continue his work.”

Asked whether he thought Mr. Zarqawi might stray somewhat dangerously close to the line drawn by the Geneva Convention against targeted assassinations, he replied that Iraq was a war zone.

“And there are lots of groups fighting with each other. There are lots of militias, armies and others. And with Zarqawi, if it is him indeed who has been killed, has been at war. He’s been in a fight. So I don’t think you can equate it to targeted assassination of the kind that we have seen elsewhere,” Mr. Annan said.

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