Saturday, June 12, 2004

"Interim" Is Putting It Mildly 

Another temp job opens up. From the Washington Post :
Gunmen shot and killed Iraq's most senior career diplomat on Saturday morning as he traveled to work in an unarmored car, the second attack on a member of the new interim government since it took office last week.

Relatives said Bassam Salih Kubba had just left his home in the Adhamiya suburb north of Baghad when gunmen in a black Opal fired at the car. Kubba died on the way to the hospital. His driver also was injured . . . .

Officials with the U.S.-led occcupation authority have predicted a surge in violence in the days leading to the June 30 transfer of power. There is broad acknowledgement here that anyone associated with the new government is a likely target of that violence, which has been the case for months.

Izzedin Salim, who then headed the now-disbanded Iraqi Governing Council, was killed in a suicide car-bombing May 17 at an entrance to the heavily guarded headquarters of the occupation authority. On May 22, a car bomb exploded outside the home of Abdul-Jabbar Youssef Sheikhli, a deputy minister in Iraq's interior minister, wounding him and his wife and killing five civilians. The same day to the north in Baqubah, the dean of Diyala University, Khosham Atta, escaped injury when gunmen shot at his car as he went to work.

On Wednesday, a deputy health minister also escaped an assassination attempt in the same area of Baghdad where Kubba was gunned down.

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