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Zinni: 'Vicious and evil terrorist attacks'

Zinni served as a Marine general and head of U.S. Central Command before taking on his latest mission.  

(CNN) -- Less than one week ago, retired U.S. Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni arrived in the Middle East, charged by the Bush administration with establishing a cease-fire and forging an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

After three deadly terrorist blasts in central Jerusalem late Saturday -- following two other suicide bombings against Israelis earlier in the week -- Zinni spoke with top Palestinian officials and then released a strongly worded statement:

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the vicious and evil terrorist attacks in Jerusalem tonight. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have been brutally murdered in these attacks and my wishes and prayers for the speedy recovery of the large number of people injured.

"I spoke with (Palestinian Authority) Chairman (Yasser) Arafat tonight and made absolutely clear that those responsible for planning and carrying out these attacks must be found and brought to justice. This is an urgent task and there can be no delays, no excuses for not acting immediately.

Profile: Gen. Anthony Zinni 

"These despicable actions can only be prevented if the Palestinians act in a comprehensive and sustained manner to root out terrorists and bring them to justice.

"I will continue to work with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to try to put an end to such incidents. Only a comprehensive and sustained effort by the Palestinian Authority against the individuals responsible for these acts and the infrastructure of the groups that support them, as well as effective cooperation between Palestinians and Israeli security organizations, will lead to the end of such actions."


• U.S. envoys meet Arafat
November 28, 2001
• U.S. envoys on Mideast peace drive
November 27, 2001

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