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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FBI Looks for Clues, Annan Says UN to Stay

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The FBI said Wednesday that the bomb that ripped through UN headquarters here was made from 1,000 pounds of old munitions including one single 500 pound bomb, all of the materials from Saddam Hussein's prewar arsenal that required no "great degree of sophistication" to build.

Ahmad Chalabi, a key member of the U.S.-picked interim government said the death toll stood at 20 but could go much higher.

Chalabi insisted the bomb was the work of Hussein loyalists but gave to evidence to support his assertion.

FBI Special Agent Thomas Fuentes said at the blast site that the bomb had been delivered by a KamAZ flatbed truck. Such trucks were made in the former Soviet Union. U.S. officials had said Tuesday that a cement truck delivered the explosives.

"We believe [the bomb] was made from existing military ordnance. ... I cannot say that it required any great degree of sophistication or expertise to create," Fuentes said.

Chalabi also said the Governing Council had warned the United States of a possible terror attack just days before the UN bombing, but said the information the Council had received suggested the attack would be carried on a soft target.

He said the search for survivors was continuing and that his team of investigators had yet to examine the rubble pile where the victims were killed. He said there was great concern that searchers could be harmed by unexploded materials used in making the bomb, which also consisted of Soviet-era artillery and mortar shells as well as hand grenades.

In Stockholm, Sweden, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the deadly attack that killed his top envoy to Iraq would not drive the world body out of the country. The unprecedented attack against the world body killed the envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 19 others, and wounded at least 100 people.

Fuentes said human remains found in the area of the explosion, about 16 meters from Vieira de Mello's office, suggested a suicide bombing. He said that could not be absolutely determined until laboratory testing was complete.

Annan said he was to meet with the Security Council later Wednesday to discuss security arrangements for UN workers in Iraq. "We will persevere. We will continue. It is essential work," Annan told reporters in Stockholm, where he stopped briefly before heading to UN headquarters in New York. "We will not be intimidated."

"We have been in Iraq for 12 years and we have never been attacked," Annan said. He said now the UN would re-evaluate its security measures.

Unlike U.S. occupation forces, the UN had been welcomed by many Iraqis and there was no clear indication of who was behind the attack on the three-story Canal Hotel. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

World leaders condemned the attack, while some nations raised fears of more attacks and others suggested that Washington end its occupation of Iraq.

Hopes of finding survivors were fading Wednesday afternoon, 24 hours after the bomb brought down the facade of the Canal Hotel, the UN headquarters building. U.S. soldiers maintained a large presence in the area and U.S. Army trucks were coming and going from the compound. Heavy machinery was pulling up the smashed pieces of the building strewn by the blast.

The truck bomb was detonated at the concrete wall outside the three-story Canal Hotel at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, blasting a two-meter-deep crater in the ground.

Except for the recently built concrete wall, UN officials at the headquarters refused heavy security because the UN "did not want a large American presence outside," said Salim Lone, the UN spokesman in Baghdad.

The UN went into postwar Iraq with trepidation. Relations with Washington were at an all-time low and the strains led the UN Security Council to authorize a loosely defined mission forced to work with the U.S.-led occupation.

But UN officials in Iraq, trying to maintain an image of neutrality which has long allowed them to operate in some of the most hostile environments, deliberately decided to forgo tighter security measures that the U.S. military could have provided.

Spokeswoman for the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Veronique Taveau said Wednesday that UN operations in Iraq had been temporarily suspended and that travel arrangements were being made for employees who want to leave Iraq.

Local employees were told to stay home. Foreign workers were directed to stay in the lodgings that are scattered in many small hotels around the capital.

UN and U.S. officials called the bombing a "terrorist attack." It came nearly two weeks after a car exploded and killed 19 people at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad and after a string of dramatic attacks on oil and water pipelines in Iraq.

In a separate attack, insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a U.S. convoy Wednesday, killing a civilian working for the occupation force and injuring two soldiers, U.S. Major Brian Luke said. The civilian contract worker is the second to be killed this month in Tikrit, Hussein's hometown. Luke said it was not immediately known whom he worked for.