Wounded Polish envoy vows return to Iraq

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WARSAW, Nov 9 (Reuters) Poland's ambassador to Iraq, who suffered severe burns in a bomb attack five weeks ago, vowed to return to Baghdad as he left a Polish hospital today.

Ambassador Edward Pietrzyk was hurt when insurgents attacked his convoy near the Polish embassy on Oct. 3.

''I don't feel an ounce of hate or need for revenge within me against the Iraqis,'' Pietrzyk said. ''I will do all I can to help them and soon I will be ready to return and continue my mission.'' Pietrzyk, 58, said he had a call from U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday to congratulate him on his recovery.

Poland is a staunch U.S. ally and has 1,000 troops in Iraq although the incoming centre-right prime minister, Donald Tusk, has said he wants to withdraw them.

Pietrzyk, a former head of Polish forces, praised the three Polish secret service agents who protected him during the attack. One of them was killed in crossfire.

''I know what it means to be reborn,'' he said. ''My life hung by a thread.'' Pietrzyk said Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, arrived 15 minutes after the attack and accompanied him to hospital in the helicopter.

''He said to me, 'Edward, don't worry, I will do everything for you to live through this','' said Pietrzyk, who met Petraeus at the United States Military Academy.

''I entered the helicopter, saw Petraeus was there and then I lost consciousness.'' REUTERS YA RK2152

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