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SLUG: 2-309099 Iraq Wrap (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=10/27/03

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=IRAQ WRAP (L)

NUMBER=2-309099

BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

///// UPDATE INTRO WITH LATEST CASUALTY COUNT. /////

INTRO: Baghdad has been rocked by several bombings, including one at the headquarters of the Red Cross, that have killed at least 30 people in the deadliest day in the Iraqi capital in two months. Correspondent Nick Simeone has details.

TEXT: Witnesses say the explosion outside the Baghdad office of the Red Cross left a crater several-meters deep and plunged the Iraqi capital into chaos on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It was the second time since August that a major international body has been targeted for attack. A suicide bomber struck the U-N mission in Baghdad two-months ago.

V-O-A Correspondent Greg LaMotte is in the Iraqi capital.

/// LAMOTTE ACT ///

The attack at the Red Cross building could be heard throughout the capital city, and shattered the windows of buildings blocks away. It was the worst day of violence in Baghdad since the end of major combat operations May first.

/// END ACT ///

The Red Cross had already cut back operations in the country and spokesman Florian Westphal says the I-C-R-C will now have to further reassess its operations, baffled why anyone would want to target a neutral group helping the Iraqi people.

/// WESTPHAL ACT ///

I really can not imagine what the motives would be for carrying out such an attack. In the light of such a massive attack, we always have to look at the security measures we had taken.

/// END ACT ///

General Mark Hertling is a spokesman for the U-S-led military coalition.

/// HURTLING ACT ///

We have some indications on who we think it is and quite frankly, we have already gone after them.

/// END ACT ///

In Washington, President Bush vowed not to let terrorist attacks to break the U-S resolve to rebuild Iraq, saying those responsible will be brought to justice.

/// BUSH ACT ///

The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqi become, the more electricity that is available, the jobs that are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become because they can not stand the thought of a free society.

/// END ACT ///

Sunday, ground-fired missiles slammed into what was one of the most well guarded facilities in the Iraqi capital, the al-Rashid hotel, which houses hundreds of senior coalition officials. An American colonel was killed in that attack, more than a dozen others were injured, and the hotel had to be vacated.

The blast also narrowly missed Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz who was in Iraq on a trip intended to highlight recent progress in securing the country.

During the past month, the number of attacks on American troops has increased. Since Sunday's blast, at least three more U-S soldiers have been killed in separate incidents. (SIGNED)

NEB/NJS/RAE/FC



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