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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Iraqi MP is shot dead in ambush
The picture of the slain Iraqi MP Faris Nasir Hussein on his chair at the National Assembly
Faris Hussein was honoured at the National Assembly on Sunday
A member of parliament from Iraq's Kurdish region has been killed by gunmen north of Baghdad, officials say.

Faris Hussein, his driver and at least one other person died, and another MP Haider Qassem was wounded.

The group were on their way to Baghdad late on Saturday when they were ambushed by unknown insurgents.

Iraq is in the grip of a fresh wave of violence which began on Wednesday with the death of 114 people in a suicide bomb attack on a crowd of labourers.

Earlier on Saturday, a car bomb explosion at a busy market in near Baghdad killed at least 30 people.

The attacks came as Iraq's parliament prepared to sign off final amendments to the country's draft constitution on Sunday.

The draft will be put to a referendum on 15 October.

Meanwhile the BBC's Richard Galpin in Iraq says the security forces are on high alert as thousands of Shia pilgrims converge on Karbala, south of the capital, for a religious festival due to start on Monday.

Mr Hussein is the third MP to be killed since elections in January this year, AFP news agency said.

He was a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of two main parties in the country's northern Kurdish region.

The Kurdish parliamentary group has 75 MPs in the 275-seat parliament, and includes Sunni Arabs, Turkmens and other ethnic minorities, as well as the Kurds themselves.

It has given strong backing to the government and the draft constitution.

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