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Bush condemns U.N. blast in Iraq

Says U.S. resolve won't waver

President Bush:
President Bush: "These killers will not determine the future of Iraq."

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CNN's Barbara Starr reports on the bomb blast at the U.N. building in Baghdad, Iraq, including the deployment of a 'quick-strike' military team
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CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- Declaring that "terrorists are testing our will," an angry President Bush on Tuesday condemned the fatal truck bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and vowed the attack would not deter U.S.-led efforts to rebuild that country.

"The civilized world will not be intimidated," Bush said. "And these killers will not determine the future of Iraq."

Later Tuesday, the administration condemned another blast -- a fatal bus bombing in Jerusalem.(Full story)

"We condemn this vicious act of terrorism in the strongest of terms," White House Spokesman Sean McCormack told CNN, using the phrase that has become the White House's standard in response to Middle East terror.

"We call on the Palestinian Authority to act to dismantle terrorism," he said.

The U.N. blast killed at least 17 people and wounded dozens, U.N. officials said.(Full story) The explosion came on the heels of sabotage against oil pipelines in northern Iraq and an attack on a water pipeline in Baghdad that left much of the city without water.

Bush, who cut short a golf game in Waco, Texas, and returned to his ranch shortly after the attack, said he had spoken to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and offered U.S. assistance in the rescue and recovery effort.

"The terrorists who struck today have again shown their contempt for the innocent," Bush said. "They showed their fear of progress and their hatred of peace. They are the enemies of the Iraqi people. They are the enemies of every nation that seeks to help the Iraqi people."

Vowed Bush: "We will persevere through every hardship."

Earlier in the day, Bush had offered an upbeat assessment about progress in Iraq, citing the "significant reconstruction effort" in that country and applauding the capture of Iraq's former vice president Taha Yasin Ramadan.(Full story)

"I'm really pleased that we've captured the vice president," Bush said.

The U.N. blast came as a seven-member congressional delegation was in Iraq. The lawmakers were not at the U.N. headquarters at the time and were not injured.

The delegation cut short its visit in Iraq by several hours and traveled to Kuwait on Tuesday. However, the delegation was due to return to Iraq on Wednesday.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a member of that delegation, told CNN by phone the terrorist attacks in Iraq "have been getting more professional," but, like Bush, she said the U.S. commitment to the country would not waver.

"It doesn't in any way diminish our resolve, but of course it does make it more difficult," the Texas Republican said.

--CNN White House Correspondent Dana Bash and Congressional Producer Trish Turner contributed to this report.


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