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Middle East
Iraqi parliamentarian assassinated
Bashir Hamid al-Graydi, elected on Iraqiya ticket, shot dead outside his home in Mosul.
Last Modified: 25 May 2010 04:12 GMT
 

An Iraqi member of parliament has been assassinated in the northern city of Mosul.

Bashir Hamid al-Graydi, a Sunni member of the secular Iraqiya bloc in parliament, was shot on Monday in Amil, a neighbourhood in the city's west.

"Gunmen set up an ambush for MP Bashar Hamid al-Graydi outside his house in the Amil neighbourhood and opened fire when he got home," a police officer said.

He said al-Graydi was rushed to hospital in "serious condition".

Fares al-Obeidi, a doctor, confirmed that the legislator, who was shot in the chest, died of his wounds.

Al-Graydi's driver was also wounded in the incident.

Police said that one person was arrested after Iraqi and US security forces cordoned off the area.

Ali Hassan, a neighbour, said: "We heard the sound of shooting then we came out immediately. We found them lying on the ground and chaos surrounded the area."

"The relatives who were with Hamid said that the gunmen were on foot."

Political tensions

Iraqiya, headed by Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister, emerged the largest party in the parliamentary elections in March, with 91 seats in the country's 325-member house.

The assassination is expected to increase tension surrounding the March 7 polls, the results of which are yet to be certified.

The major Shia-dominated Iraqi political blocs, Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance, which has close ties to neighbour Iran, have announced plans to unite to form the largest bloc in parliament.

But Allawi has cautioned that any attempt to marginalise Iraqiya could trigger renewed sectarian violence.

Mosul, 350km north of Baghdad, is the capital of Ninawa province and the scene of frequent unrest.

Source:
Agencies
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