Drive-by shooters killed a senior member of Iraq’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday, continuing a campaign against the new government’s administration and security infrastructure.
Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Khamas was shot and killed in his car by four gunmen driving in a four-door sedan as he drove through Baghdad’s southeastern Zaafaraniyah district, police Col. Nouri Abdullah said. Khamas’ wife and driver were injured in the attack, he added.
In other attacks
- Mortar attacks by insurgents in northern Mosul on Wednesday killed two Iraqis and injured eight others, including seven school children, police and hospital officials said.
- A car bomb detonated in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, injuring 14 people — including 12 police officers. The car, parked in central Baqouba, blew up as a three-car police convoy drove by, damaging all the vehicles, police Col. Mudhafar Muhammed said.
- In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting an American military convoy driving through the eastern part of the city injured seven Iraqis, police Lt. Col. Ahmed Aboud Efait said. There were no reports of any Americans injured, he added.
- Gunmen also shot dead a transport ministry driver, Ali Mutib Sakr, in Sadr City, a predominantly Shiite area in the eastern part of the capital, police Lt. Col. Shakir Wadi said.
All of the Mosul attacks took place in the eastern part of the city, a predominantly Sunni Arab district, and four of the rounds hit its police academy but caused no injuries, police Brig. Gen. Wathiq Mohammed said.
One round landed in front of a grocer’s shop in the al-Masarif neighborhood and killed the owner, said Dr. Bahaa-Eddine al-Bakri of the Jamhouri Teaching Hospital.
Another struck a car and killed its driver and injured a passenger, al-Bakri said, while seven children walking to school in the al-Jamaa neighborhood were injured by another.
Iran, Iraq hold talks
On Tuesday, Iran’s foreign minister made a historic trip to Baghdad, pledging to secure his country’s borders to stop militants from entering Iraq and saying the “situation would have been much worse” if Tehran were actually supporting the insurgency as the U.S. has claimed.
Iranian envoy Kamal Kharrazi’s trip — two days after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to support the war-ravaged country’s political process — was the highest-level visit by an official from any of Iraq’s six neighboring countries since Saddam Hussein’s ouster two years ago.
Kharrazi, who held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, President Jalal Talabani and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on a day of deepening sectarian violence, vowed that his country was committed to supporting Iraq’s political and economic reconstruction and would do all it could to improve security conditions.
“We believe securing the borders between the two countries means security to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Kharrazi said.
Zebari said militants have infiltrated from Iran into Iraq “but we are not saying that they are approved by the Iranian government.”
New British Defense Secretary John Reid also visited Iraq on Tuesday, traveling to Baghdad and Basra on his first foreign trip. The stream of visitors is aimed at shoring up the new Iraqi leadership caught in a surge of violence that has killed more than 470 people since the government was announced April 28.