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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Annan expresses dismay at new killings in Iraq

12 November ? United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed dismay at the car bombing in Nasiriya, Iraq, today, which killed a number of Italians and Iraqis.

"He expresses his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this attack and to the Government of Italy," a UN spokesman said in New York.

Spokesman Fred Eckhard reiterated Mr. Annan's belief in the rapid transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

Asked at a press briefing whether, in view of current high-level discussions in Washington, D.C., the UN believed Iraq was ready to be governed by Iraqis, Mr. Eckhard said Mr. Annan had already told the Security Council of his belief that the rapid transfer of power would be good for the country.

A clear timeline for the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqis would help to reduce tensions somewhat and those views have not changed, Mr. Eckhard added.

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