UN won't quit Iraq, second Canadian dies
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan says the UN is committed to restoring order in Iraq, and Tuesday's deadly bombing at its Baghdad headquarters will not deter it.
Three more bodies were pulled from the rubble of the former hotel Thursday, bringing the number of dead to 23, including two Canadians: Chris Klein-Beekman, 31, of Courtenay, B.C.; and Gillian Clark, 47, of Toronto.
Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN's top envoy in Iraq, was also killed in the explosion when he was trapped in his office.
Annan, announcing that UN operations would be temporarily suspended, pointed the finger for the security failure at the U.S. forces in Iraq.
But the bombing won't drive the UN from Iraq. "We should not be distracted nor deterred by this senseless and brutal act of violence," he said.
What is left of the UN headquarters is guarded by U.S. troops. But that wasn't the case before the bombing. Some blame the U.S. for poor security, others claim the UN refused an offer of heavier American protection in order to show Iraqis that it's an independent organization.
"I don't know if the UN did turn down the offer of protection, but if it did it was not correct and they should not have been allowed to turn it down," said Annan.
There were also claims from members of Iraq's interim governing council that a warning of a possible attack on the UN was ignored.
Ahmed Chalabi of the governing council said information had been received that an "attack would take place using a truck to be detonated either through a suicide mechanism, or through an electronic detonation."
Canadian aid worker Chris Klein-Beekman died Tuesday in the explosion. He had been working as UNICEF program co-ordinator for Iraq. Fellow UNICEF worker and friend Geoff Keele told CBC Newsworld Klein-Beekman's colleagues are devastated. "Everybody is in mourning. We feel sick."
Another Canadian killed in the explosion was Christian Children's Fund worker Gillian (Jill) Clark. The Toronto woman, in Iraq since May, was taking part in a UNICEF study into the needs of Iraqi children.
"The CCF family is deeply saddened by the death of Jill Clark, a talented, dedicated and experienced child protection specialist. Her death is a great loss to the humanitarian aid community," a statement said.
Five more Canadians were injured by the bomb, said Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham. One of the injured has undergone surgery.
U.S. officials in Iraq say the bombing was carried out either by Saddam loyalists, or by Islamic extremists who have crossed into Iraq.