The assassination on Monday of the leader of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, has shocked papers in the Middle East.
One editorial speaks of a "new phase of violence and darkness in Iraq".
But an Iraqi daily is also defiant, saying that the killers will never manage to "turn back the wheel of history".
The assassination of Ezzedine Salim is a wicked attempt to undermine the growing momentum of international support for the political process now under way... But the evil ones will never succeed in turning back the wheel of history, regardless of the enormity of the price Iraqi citizens have to pay in terms of human and material losses.
All political forces in Iraq are called upon to stop the sterile wrangling over tertiary issues and focus instead on effective practical steps to end the occupation and regain sovereignty. This is becoming increasingly urgent with the deadly threats posed by the vile Zarqawi-Saddamite alliance looming ever higher, indiscriminately targeting Iraqis and wreaking havoc in the country, in a desperate bid to justify the atrocities of Saddam's reign and recreate the conditions that brought about the occupation in the first place.
The assassination of Ezzedine Salim has opened a new phase of darkness and violence in Iraq.
Muhammad Kharrub in Jordan's Al-Ra'y
The killing of the Governing Council's chairman, in this ugly manner, emphasizes once again the failure of the US war in Iraq... The success of the resistance in reaching Ezzedine Salim in front of the green zone, at the US headquarters, means that US forces are not able to defend themselves, let alone defend their followers in the Governing Council... We don't understand how the US will hand over power to Iraqis 40 days from now, while it is not able to protect the headquarters of its forces and the chairman of the Interim Governing Council.
London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi
Salim's death stunned a country already reeling from a sharp upsurge in violence as the June 30 date for the transfer of power approaches.
Lebanon's The Daily Star
The chaos in Iraq presents a good opportunity for all those with interests there. The occupation force, rather than handling things responsibly and calming the chaos, is instead adding fuel to the fire. The killing of the Governing Council chairman, Ezzedine Salim, reflects part of the chaos.
The Iraqi Governing Council may be a creation of Washington, but Iraq needed a platform on which to build its future, and for better or worse the council is that platform. Thus the murder yesterday of its head, Ezzedine Salim, is deeply depressing. It is also foolish. The Iraqi resistance may have thought to deal a blow to the occupation forces with this killing, but in fact it has shot itself in the foot.
Saudi Arab News
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