The leader of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council was killed in an explosion.
Ezzedine Salim died as he was waiting to enter the coalition headquarters in Baghdad.
Besides Salim, the bomber killed and six other people, including two US troops, as a council convoy was heading into the heavily guarded "Green Zone" headquarters of the US-led authorities in central Baghdad.
An Islamic Web site carried a claim of responsibility from an Iraqi group, the "Arab Resistance Group - al-Rashid Brigades."
However, US officials said bombing bore the stamp of al Qaeda figure Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, a Sunni Muslim, takes over the presidency of the council.
MORE about Ezzedine Salim - READ TODAY in For The Record section.
American Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries of State, Defense Secretaries, White House staff, and many Senators and Congressmen display many or most of the traits of criminal psychopaths and mass murderers