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Annan Fires Top Security Adviser Over Iraq Bombing

Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday ousted his top security adviser and punished several other U.N. employees for failing to provide adequate security at the United Nations’ Baghdad headquarters before the Aug. 19 attack that killed 22 people there. The U.N. chief’s action marked the largest shake-up of senior staff members in over a decade. It followed the completion of a confidential 150-page report by a panel headed by a retired U.N. official, Gerald Walzer, into personal accountability for the security breakdown before the terrorist attack, which killed the United Nations’ top envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil. The move was aimed at putting to rest months of criticism of the United Nations’ failure to anticipate the worst terrorist attack against the organization in its history despite mounting evidence that it was a potential terror target. Instead, it sparked fresh criticism from some within the organization who noted that Annan and some other senior officials who hastily led the United Nations back into Iraq in May went unpunished. Full Story

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