The brother of one of Iraq’s two vice presidents was shot and killed on Sunday while on his way to work in Baghdad, said officials. Ghalib Abdul-Mahdi, brother of Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, was gunned down along with his driver at 7:45am while traveling to work at the office of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, two aides to the vice president said.
The aides spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorised to talk on record to the media. Ghalib Abdul-Mahdi served as an adviser to the prime minister.
In continuing violence, US troops backed by helicopters and a jet plane attacked insurgents planning a night time ambush near an American base north of Baghdad, killing six militants and wounding and capturing five others, said the US command.
Insurgents also killed six Iraqi civilians in scattered attacks in the Iraqi capital and other areas, one day after around two dozen people died in a truck bombing in a Shiite farming village north of Baghdad.
The surge in violence occurred as Iraqi political blocs unveiled their lists of candidates for December 15 parliamentary elections, which the United States and its coalition partners hope will help restore enough stability that they can begin sending home their forces next year. The election commission said that it has received candidate lists from 21 coalitions and from 207 other political parties or individuals.
The fighting near Taji, a US air base 20 kilometres north of Baghdad, occurred on Saturday night after troops saw insurgents moving along a canal toward a commonly used ambush site, said a US military statement.
The militants fired on Apache attack helicopters who flew to the area for reconnaissance. The helicopters fired back, and the insurgents retreated. When they tried to regroup, an Air Force F-15E jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on them, said the military. Six insurgents were killed and five were wounded and captured, the statement added.
On Sunday morning, a roadside bomb destroyed one of several oil tanker trucks driving on a main road in south Baghdad, sending a fire ball up over the area and killing the two men inside, said police Capt Ibrahim Abdul-Ridha. Four civilian passers-by were wounded.
Three separate drive-by shootings in the capital killed two construction workers and wounded three and seriously wounded a shopkeeper in Dora.
Officials also evacuated a primary school in western Baghdad on Sunday, a school day in Iraq, to defuse a bomb that was discovered by guards there, police Capt. Talib Thamir said, reports Daily Times. I.L.