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Terrorists in Iraq have killed twelve Nepalese workers and posted graphic images of their corpses on an internet web site. The twelve men were laborers who went to Iraq to work as cooks, cleaners, and builders for a Jordanian company. They were taken hostage August 20th by a terrorist group called the Army of Ansar al-Sunna.

At least one of the Nepalese hostages was filmed being beheaded. The rest were shown being shot from behind. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher commented on the terrorist atrocity:

“We condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest possible terms. We offer our condolences and sympathies to the families of people who were killed. We continue to work with Iraqi security forces, United States and multinational forces, to try to coordinate efforts to secure the release of all people that have been taken hostage in Iraq.”

Iraqi terrorist groups have taken more than one-hundred foreigners hostage in recent months, although many have been released. “The terrorists' goal,” says Iraq’s deputy foreign minister Hamid Beyati, “is to hamper the police work, terrorize our citizens, and show that the government is unable to protect the Iraqi people, and this will not happen.”

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the U.S.-led coalition will not allow those who use bombs, kidnappings, and beheadings to triumph:

“We must not be fainthearted in the face of current challenges. We must not waver or lose patience. We must stay the course for freedom and in the face of danger.”

Amid the car-bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations, the coalition will stand with the Iraqi people as they work to rebuild their country and secure their new-found freedom. Secretary of State Powell expressed it well: “Democracy,” he said, “is hard, democracy is dangerous, and this is the time for us to be steadfast, not get weak in the knees and say, ‘This may be too hard. Let's leave these poor people alone so that the tyrants can return.' We're not going to do that.”