A senior official in Iraq's Education Ministry has been fatally shot by gunmen
outside his home in Baghdad. It is the second assassination of an Iraqi interim
government official in as many days.
Just hours after the attack on Kamal al-Jurah, hundreds of his grief-stricken
relatives and colleagues gathered at the Ministry of Education building, where
Mr. Jurah's body was being prepared to be carried to the burial site in a flag-draped
Mr. Jurah was the ministry's director-general for cultural relations, with
more than 40 years of experience in education.
Chanting a traditional Muslim prayer, the mourners followed the coffin for
several kilometers through the streets of the capital.
Mr. Jurah's brother, Muayad al-Jurah, witnessed the attack in front of their
home in northwest Baghdad. He says as many as eight men, wearing dark masks,
opened fire on his brother as he left the house. Kamal al-Jurah later died
of his wounds at a local hospital.
Muayad al-Jurah says he has no idea who killed his brother. He says Kamal
was a kind man who never hurt anyone.
Saturday, gunmen killed Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Bassam Salih Kubba
in a drive-by shooting north of Baghdad. Mr. Kubba, an Iraqi diplomat with
30 years' experience, was the first government figure to be assassinated since
the U.N.-sponsored interim leadership was formed June first, but several members
of the previous U.S.-appointed interim council were killed during the past
Many Iraqis, like Jumeina Abdullah, expressed deep dismay about the violence
that has killed two respected officials of a government that will not officially
take power for another two weeks.
Ms. Abdullah, who works at the Education Ministry, says whoever is responsible
for these acts does not want Iraq to be peaceful and prosperous. She says gunmen
appear to be targeting Iraqis, who are only trying to help rebuild the country.
Meanwhile, a suicide attacker blew up a car bomb near a U.S. military base
in Baghdad, killing at least 12 Iraqis, including four policemen. A police
captain on the scene told The Associated Press news agency, the attack was
part of the last gasp of the terrorists.
Meanwhile, police in the northern oil city of Kirkuk say a prominent Kurdish
clergyman was gunned down late Saturday
U.S. and Iraqi officials have warned of increased attacks, predicting that
insurgents would be seeking to undermine public confidence in the new government
before it takes power July 1.