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11/20/04 - MURDER OF HUMANITARIAN IN IRAQ - 2004-11-22

Governments around the world are condemning the murder of Margaret Hassan, the director of the Iraq branch of the humanitarian organization, CARE International. Ms. Hassan was abducted October 19th while driving to work in Baghdad. On November 16th, a videotape surfaced showing a blindfolded woman shown being murdered by a hooded terrorist. It is widely believed the woman was Ms. Hassan.

Margaret Hassan had lived in Iraq for the past thirty years. She worked to provide food, medicine, and humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the civilized world is appalled by "the cruel treatment of someone who devoted so many years of [her] life to helping the people of Iraq."

Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, terrorists have carried out numerous suicide bombings, kidnappings, and beheadings in an effort to undermine Iraq's stability and reconstruction and stop elections from taking place. Of the more than one-hundred-seventy foreigners who have been kidnapped in Iraq this year, thirty have been murdered.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says the defeat of the terrorists will give the Iraqi people hope and will help the country on a course to freedom:

"The people of Iraq have been making progress towards building a society to be free of terror and tyranny. It's not easy. There are clearly very dangerous elements in Iraq who seek to impose rule by the terrorists and by the dictator. They've undertaken every effort to try to extinguish the progress and to intimidate the Iraqi people and the coalition forces. If Iraq is to be free and a peaceful society, one part of the country cannot remain under the rule of assassins, terrorists, and the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime."

Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says, "We face a concentrated campaign by terrorists and by the enemies of all the values which we hold dear, a campaign to shake our resolve, and to prevent Iraq and Iraqis from gaining the freedom and democracy which we have dreamed of for more than the last thirty years." The Iraqis, the U.S., and their coalition allies will not allow the terrorists to succeed.