IMAGE: Mohammed Ali al-Hassani.
Everett Kennedy Brown  /  EPA
A picture dated October 5, 2004, shows Mohammed Ali al-Hassani, governor of Iraq's Muthanna province, who was killed by a roadside bomb on Friday.
updated 8/20/2007 3:24:47 AM ET 2007-08-20T07:24:47

A roadside bomb killed the governor of the southern Muthanna province on Monday, police said, the second assassination of a top provincial official in just over a week.

The blast struck the convoy carrying Mohammed Ali al-Hassani at about 9 a.m., killing him and three other people, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

Al-Hassani’s office manager and two guards also were seriously wounded, police said.

On Aug. 11, the governor and police chief of another southern province, Qadasiyah, also were killed in a roadside bombing attack.

Both governors were members of the influential Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a group led by Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim whose loyalists have been fighting the Mahdi Army militia for control of the oil-rich south.

Muthanna was the first province that was transferred to Iraqi control last year.

Al-Hassani, 52, was from a prominent clan in the area and had been governor for about two years despite several attempts by rivals in the provincial council to sack him.

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