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International Reaction to Aid Leader's Death


Western leaders are condemning the apparent slaying of a British aid worker in Iraq. A videotape received by Al-Jazeera television shows what is believed to be the execution of Margaret Hassan, the local director of CARE International.

TV News Report transcript

Margaret Hassan is being remembered as a devoted, caring person who spent the past 30 years helping the people of Iraq. Her apparent killing by the militants who abducted her a month ago has horrified people around the world.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called it “an abhorrent act.” In her birthplace, Ireland, Mrs. Hassan's death was particularly painful. Dermot Ahern is the Irish Foreign Minister.

DERMOT AHERN, IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER

"Well, obviously I am devastated. I mean there is no humanity in the people that have done this."

This man, a patient at a hospital in southern Iraq that Ms. Hassan worked with said her death is a big loss for the Iraqi people.

Over the past three decades, Margaret Hassan's work as the country leader of CARE International brought clean water to five million Iraqis, built a school for the deaf and created food programs for thousands of sick Iraqi children. She was married to an Iraqi and held both British and Iraqi citizenship.

Experts believe her apparent death signals a new level of brutality by the insurgents. Jonathan Alterman is a Middle East Expert at The Center For Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

JONATHAN ALTERMAN

"This has a tremendously chilling effect not only for foreigners in Iraq, but also for ordinary Iraqis in terms of the direction that their country is going."

It not known exactly who kidnapped and apparently killed Margaret Hassan, but the impact is clear, driving more Western aid organizations out of Iraq and discouraging them from returning.

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