Gunmen shot dead a senior official in Iraq's trade ministry as he was being driven to work in &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/ 22/98/387/11414_BushInIraq.html ' target=_blank>Baghdad on Sunday, police said, the latest in a series of assassinations of senior government employees. Ali Mousa Salman, director general of the ministry, was killed after leaving his home in central Baghdad. His driver was also killed and three other people were wounded, tells Reuters.
In recent months, more than a dozen senior government officials have been shot dead in Baghdad in well planned attacks. The latest assassination came amid a surge in violence since a new government was formed in late April.
At least five Iraqi commandos were killed late on Saturday in an ambush in the town of Baiji, 180 km (112 miles) north of the capital, Iraqi police said.
According to the Boston Globe, Iraq is not on an inevitable path to civil war, and many Iraqis still yearn for unity and real power-sharing among the country's disparate ethnic and &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2001/10/23/18880.html ' target=_blank>religious groups. But many Shi'ite and Sunni leaders are talking more about wary coexistence than substantive cooperation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech dedicated to the Day of the Russian Navy, recalled the threats that Russia is currently facing from a number of countries.