Senior finance official assassinated in Iraq

AP News
Posted: Sep 26, 2011 3:39 PM
Senior finance official assassinated in Iraq

Baghdad gunmen assassinated a senior finance ministry official and wounded a senior judge, while a roadside bomb in northern Iraq killed three people Monday, officials said.

Senior Finance Ministry official Mohammed Ali al-Safi died Monday evening, hours after assailants opened fire on his car in western Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

Additionally, officials said gunmen shot judge Munir Hadad in his hand during a drive-by shooting on a highway in central Baghdad in a failed assassination attempt. Hadad served as the spokesman for the Iraqi High Tribunal formed to prosecute former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his aides.

Separately, Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir said a detonated bomb hit a car carrying four people near the city of Kirkuk, some 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad. Three were killed and the fourth person was wounded in the explosion.

Kirkuk sits on top of one of Iraq's largest oil reserves and has long been a point of friction among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen who are vying for control of the city and the land surrounding it.

The police and medical officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Attacks on Iraqi forces and officials have stepped up in recent months as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw from the country.