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Violence spreads ahead of Iraqi election

Violence spreads ahead of Iraqi election
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A Shi’ite cleric was among the latest victims of an upsurge in violence in Iraq ahead of a parliamentary election in less than two weeks’ time.The Imam, an ally of Shi’ite religious leader, Moqtada al Sadr was shot in east Baghdad in an attack likely to stoke tensions among Muslim groups.

US and Iraqi security forces have borne the brunt of recent assaults by insurgents across the country. But civilians have also died, either directly targeted or caught up in the combat. As campaigning intensifies so too does the violence; November was one of the bloodiest months this year and December looks like it will be no better. Against this backdrop the trial of Saddam Hussein will re-open on Monday.He has only been in court for six hours but analysts are already expressing doubts about the proceedings, and particularly the standard of evidence produced so far.