Two employees of the al-Mustansiriya University were killed on Monday when a mortar shell landed in the campus in Baghdad.

Armed men also killed a policeman and his wife in a drive-by shooting south of Baghdad, while an army commander survived an assassination attempt in the capital, security authorities said.

Baghdad-based policeman Razzaq Ubaid Hinaidi and his wife were slain late on Sunday while driving near the village of Aalgaya, about 95km south of Baghdad, said Captain Muthana Khalid Ali on Monday.

The couple's two children were badly wounded in the attack, Ali added.

Soldiers killed

In Baquba, four members of the Iraqi National Guard were killed and four others injured in two separate incidents on Monday.

One of those injured said their headquarters had come under mortar attack.

Violence has come to be part of
daily life in many Iraqi cities

In east Baghdad, Qasim al-Gharrawi, a cleric who was the local representative of Shia religious leader Ayat Allah Ali al-Sistani, was killed, officials said. 

An an Iraqi army brigadier-general survived an assassination attempt early on Monday when a group of armed men attacked his convoy at an intersection in Saydiya, southern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Soldiers returned fire against the men, who had got out of two cars before attacking the convoy. Four of the attackers were killed and the rest fled on foot, the spokesman said.

Inside their cars, soldiers found 15 hand grenades, four rifles, mortar rounds and explosives.

Governor freed

In Iraq's western Anbar province, where US troops launched a major operation over the past week near the Syrian border, the kidnapped provincial governor was set free by his captors, Interior Ministry officials said on Sunday.

Raja Nawaf was seized last week with four bodyguards. His captors demanded an end to the US operation.

"The Iraqi defence minister probably wants to build bridges with religious scholars through this order"

Walid al-Zubaidi,
Iraqi journalist

In related news, police announced they had found the handcuffed bodies of 15 people shot dead and left in a Baghdad garbage dump.

The corpses of another 11 Iraqis, four of them beheaded, were found in Iskandariya, south of the capital.

Ten corpses thought to be those of Iraqi soldiers were discovered on Saturday in Ramadi, about 110km west of Baghdad, authorities said.

Ministerial order

Iraqi Defence Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi on Monday ordered security forces to stop storming mosques and churches.

His order came after the influential Iraqi Muslim body Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) accused the Iraqi National Guards of bursting into mosques in the al-Shaab and Aur areas and arresting 15 civilians.

Grisly discoveries of corpses
are being made almost daily

The AMS told Aljazeera that bodies of eight of the civilians were later found in the area of al-Shaab while seven bodies were found in the Aur area, all apparently executed.

No one has claimed responsibility.

Iraqi journalist, Walid al-Zubaidi, welcomed the defence minister's order as a positive step.

"The minister probably wants to build bridges with religious scholars through this order," al-Zubaidi told Aljazeera.

"The government should issue a comprehensive decision, end the state of emergency, stop random arrests and implement and respect the Iraqi law."