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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Academic killed in northern Iraq
Mosul map
Unknown assailants have killed an Iraqi lecturer and her husband in the northern city of Mosul.

Layla Saad, dean of law at Mosul University, was shot on her doorstep and had her throat cut, police said.

Relatives said she had received threats but refused to hire security guards. A motive for the killings is not known.

A lecturer from the same college was killed in January. Numerous academics and intellectuals have been attacked in the acute insecurity of post-war Iraq.

"She received a couple of threats. Some people advised her to hire guards to protect that house, but she wouldn't listen," said one of Saad's relatives, quoted by Reuters news agency.

Her husband, Moneer al-Khero, was shot three times in a bedroom in the house in Mosul's affluent Aldanadan neighbourhood.

Reports say the killers left cash in the house untouched.

"It is a big conspiracy, to kill all the qualified and highly educated people, in order to horrify others so they will not lead government institutions," said one university employee quoted by Reuters.

Insurgents fighting US forces have conducted numerous assassinations of public figures in their campaign to destabilise Iraq and undermine support for an interim government due to be given sovereignty on 30 June.

Other academics, principally wealthy doctors, have been targeted to extort money, according to reports from Iraq.

Mosul University's dean of political science, Abdul Jabbar Mustafa, was killed in January.


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