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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Senior Iraqi official shot dead
US soldier stands guard in central Baghdad as troops secure the area where Awadi was killed
Tight security has not halted the wave of militant attacks
A senior Iraqi interior ministry official has been shot dead by gunmen in the capital Baghdad.

Musab al-Awadi, the ministry's deputy chief in charge of tribal affairs, was killed along with two of his bodyguards, a ministry spokesman said.

The men were attacked as they left Mr Awadi's house in the al-Baya area of the capital.

It is the latest in a series of attacks by militants targeting senior officials in Iraq.

In other developments in Iraq:

  • A suicide bombing outside an American military base in Mosul kills at least three people, including the bomber
  • in Basra, two Iraqi women working as cleaners for coalition forces are shot dead
  • a militant group threatening to kill seven foreign hostages says it has extended a deadline for negotiations
  • a separate group says it has taken two Pakistani truck drivers and an Iraqi man hostage, and there are further reports that two Jordanians have been taken hostage.

Sustained violence

The assassination is the 10th such killing since the new government took power at the end of June.

POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS
17 May: Ezzedine Salim, leader of the Governing Council, is killed by a car bomb
12 June: Interim Deputy Foreign Minister Bassam Qubba is shot dead in Baghdad
13 June: Education ministry's director of cultural relations Kamal al-Jarrah is gunned down outside his home
16 June: Oil security chief Ghazi al-Talabani is gunned down in Kirkuk
14 July: Governor of Mosul is killed in a grenade attack
20 July: Hazem al-Ainachi, a co-ordinator of the Basra provincial council, is killed a checkpoint in Basra

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber targeted the justice minister, killing five people. The minister escaped unhurt.

In May, the leader of the defunct Iraqi Governing Council, Ezzedine Salim, was killed in a suicide bombing near the headquarters of the US-led coalition.

The militants have declared the interim administration illegitimate.

However, the Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, has promised tough action to curb the violence.

He said plans for a new intelligence unit, unveiled two weeks ago, would "annihilate those terrorist groups".



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