Monday, August 20, 2007


Muthanna governor assassinated

(AP) - A roadside bomb killed the governor of the southern Muthanna province on Monday, police said, the second assassination of a top provincial official in just over a week. The blast struck the convoy carrying Mohammed Ali al-Hassani at about 9 a.m., killing him and seriously wounding his office manager and two guards, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.
On Aug. 11, the governor and police chief of another southern province, Qadasiyah, also were killed in a roadside bombing attack. Both governors were members of the influential Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a group led by Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim whose loyalists have been fighting the Mahdi Army militia for control of the oil-rich south. Muthanna was the first province that was transferred to Iraqi control last year.
COMMENT: The SICI and the Badr Organisation are mainly blaming the Mahdi Army for the assassinations of their officials. The Shia parties are locked in a power struggle for domination of the south and as a result this latest assassination could lead to violent clashes between the two rival factions. COMMENT ENDS.

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