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Senior Iraqi official shot dead in Baghdad

Senior Iraqi official shot dead in Baghdad
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A senior Iraqi government official has been killed in a drive-by shooting. Hatem Karim, the deputy governor of Baghdad, was driving past a mosque in the southern Dora district of the capital when his car was rammed by assailants. Two of his bodyguards were seriously injured by a hail of bullets. It is the latest in a series of attacks targetting officials linked to the country’s US backed interim authority.

The government says it is fast losing patience with insurgents in the “Sunni triangle” between Baghdad, Falluja and Ramadi, another restive city where seven people died and eleven others were wounded in clashes yesterday. One US marine was killed and four others badly injured in another fierce gun battle in the city early this morning. Twelve Iraqis were also hurt. Meanwhile, US troops are awaiting orders to try to capture their number one target, the Jordanian Islamist, Abou Moussab al-Zarqaoui. They have carried out a number of raids over the last few days but some analysts say they are unlikely to strike again until after the US election.