The world community has condemned the killing of the head of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, in a car blast in Baghdad.
The blast gutted Salim's convoy of vehicles
But top coalition officials and IGC members vowed that it would not derail the handover process.
Top US administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer
The assassination of the President of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, is a shocking and tragic loss.
The terrorists who are seeking to destroy Iraq have struck a cruel blow with this vile act today. But they will be defeated. Ezzedine Salim's death will not have been in vain. The Iraqi people will ensure that his vision of a democratic, free and prosperous Iraq will become a reality.
By this low and cowardly terrorist act, a shining star in Iraq's sky has disappeared. The IGC will not retreat on the march to which he devoted all his life - the march of pride, happiness and freedom for our people, the march of building a democratic, federal, pluralistic and unified Iraq.
US President George W Bush
Mr Salim was a man of courage who risked his life in pursuit of a free, democratic and prosperous Iraq. I offer our deepest condolences to the victims' families.
The terrorists will find no success in their attempts to
shake the will of America and our coalition.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
I am really shocked by the tragic and criminal assassination... I hope that the culprits will be apprehended and dealt with.
Obviously, there are elements on the ground who are against the process, who do not want it to succeed.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
This is an appalling act that we should all utterly condemn. Those who perpetrated it want to intimidate all those who are working for a democratic and a prosperous Iraq - they will not succeed.
French President Jacques Chirac
[I am] as convinced as ever that there is no military solution, that a political solution is needed... I hope such a solution will be found through the transfer of sovereignty and power to a truly Iraqi government, as quickly as possible.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov
These events sent yet another very worrying signal about the need to rethink the very model of how Iraq is governed. [Iraq's government must be] transparent and, most importantly, it must be understood and supported by the Iraqi people.
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa
We express our regret and strong condemnation. Iraqi blood must not be shed in this fashion, whatever the
political pretexts of this or that politician.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard
I am so horrified. This is not the killing of an American or an Englishman, it's the killing of one of their own and what these people are about is preventing Iraq having a democratic future.