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UN envoy dies in Iraq hit
Sergio Vieira de Mello

Baghdad, Aug. 19 (Reuters): A massive truck bomb devastated the UN headquarters here today, killing the UN special envoy and at least 14 others in a possible suicide attack, officials said.

Scores were wounded and rescue workers battled into the night to save those trapped in the rubble as President George W. Bush vowed not to be intimidated by “terrorists”.

Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan’s new special representative to US-administered Iraq, survived for several hours in the wreckage of his office. It took the full force of the blast and may have been targeted.

But the 55-year-old Brazilian diplomat, who made a career defending human rights, died of his wounds.

“Such terrorist incidents cannot break the will of the international community to further intensify its efforts to help the people of Iraq,” the Security Council said.

Clouds of black smoke ruffled the sky-blue UN flag in the hot Baghdad evening as dazed and bleeding workers were led from the rubble by US soldiers.

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