The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrendous suicide car bombing that took place today in Hillah, in which over 110 civilians, police and National Guard volunteers were reportedly killed and at least 130 injured. This terrorist attack constitutes a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
These repeated acts of senseless violence, in which the Iraqi people have become the main target, only seek to undermine the prospects of a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Iraq. 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. Ultimately, the foundations of a new Iraq can only be built through peaceful means, based on dialogue, mutual understanding and compromise. The United Nations will continue to stand by the Iraqi people in this process.
The Secretary-General extends his sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of all the victims of this reprehensible attack and hopes for the speedy recovery of the wounded.