Member of Iraq parliament killed

Shiite elder statesman assassinated in Baghdad

bombs kill 2 U.S. soldiers

June 29, 2005|By Aamer Madhani | Aamer Madhani,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Shiite member of Iraq's parliament was assassinated yesterday as he made his way from his home to a National Assembly meeting in the capital on the first anniversary of the transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.

President Bush marked the anniversary with a speech to a prime-time television audience in the United States, but there was little fanfare in Baghdad.

Across Iraq, violence continued unabated. Suicide bombers killed two U.S. soldiers in separate attacks, the U.S. military reported. A bomber blew up his car by a U.S. base near Balad, killing one soldier and wounding another. Later, a suicide bomber attacked a patrol west of Tikrit, killing one soldier and injuring two.

A car bomber attacked the convoy of Dhari Ali al-Fayadh, an elder statesman of the National Assembly, yesterday morning in the al-Rashdiya district, not far from the lawmaker's home, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Two bodyguards and the assembly member's son also were killed.

Al-Fayadh, who was in his late 80s and was a member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was the assembly's eldest member. When the assembly first convened, he was chosen to be speaker until one could be elected.

He is the second member of the assembly to be assassinated. Lamia Abed Khadouri al-Sagri, also a Shiite, was killed April 27 in Baghdad.

Al-Qaida in Iraq posted a message on an Islamic Web site claiming responsibility for the attack on al-Fayadh.

As news of al-Fayadh's death spread, some Shiite assembly members said they worry that they, too, are vulnerable. The predominantly Sunni-led insurgency has mainly targeted the Shiite Muslim majority.

"The protection of assembly members is not enough," said Abbas al-Bayati, a Shiite. "The government should provide its members armored cars, weapons and proper training for our bodyguards."

In a separate attack, Shakir Abdul Fattah, a Baghdad city councilman and member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, was killed as he left the market in the Khadra neighborhood near his home in the city, a party spokesman said.

The Iraqi Islamic Party sat out the national elections in January, but is widely considered the most influential and moderate of Sunni political organizations. Often, the party has been critical of the Shiite-dominated government and the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marines aided by sailors and Iraqi soldiers launched another major operation in Anbar province in an effort to root out militants.

In Baghdad, U.S. troops killed an Iraqi television director yesterday when he drove near a U.S. convoy, colleagues and a hospital official alleged. The U.S. military said it had no reports of the incident.

Ahmed Wael Bakri of al-Sharqiya television, was the third Iraqi journalist killed in similar incidents in the past week.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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