Talabani: Saddam loyalists not behind UN attack in Baghdad; predicts more attacks
A prominent member of Iraq's Governing Council said on Thursday "fundamentalists" moving into Iraq were behind the massive suicide bombing attack against the UN headquarters in Baghdad and that more attacks are likely to take place.
Jalal Talabani, chief of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, dismissed reports that supporters of ousted President Saddam Hussein were responsible for Tuesday's bombing, which killed at least 24 people including UN representative in Baghdad, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
"These terrorist activities in Iraq are arranged by fundamentalist Muslim, or so-called Muslim, organizations...this is the same tactic they are using all over the world," Talabani told a news conference in Australia, according to Reuters. Despite his comments, U.S. and Iraqi officials were quoted as saying by the AP that it was too early to say who was behind the attack.
Talabani, however, stated "extremists" from the Saudi Kingdom, activists in Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network and other groups were getting together in Iraq, coming across its southern and western borders.
"We are expecting more kinds of attacks in this way," Talabani conveyed.
In addition, he confirmed there had been rumors of imminent car bombings or suicide attacks against the UN or US forces since a similar attack took place at the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.
The UN attack emphasized the need for an Iraqi police force to be formed and trained quickly to take over security from the US-led forces, he noted.
Moreover, Talabani downplayed any further influence of Saddam's loyalties in Iraq, adding they were now totally isolated from the people. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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