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6 Held in Slaying of Iraqi Official

Arrests in the Baghdad governor's death come as a bomb kills two guardsmen in Mosul.

January 13, 2005|From Reuters

BAGHDAD — U.S. troops have arrested six suspects in the Jan. 4 assassination of Baghdad's governor, Ali Haidari, the military said Wednesday.

Acting on a tip from residents, soldiers seized the suspected insurgents Tuesday at a house in western Baghdad, U.S. officials said.

A group led by Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the slaying of Haidari. Zarqawi has been linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network and is believed to be behind some of the bloodiest attacks since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In the latest attack, insurgents killed two Iraqi national guardsmen with a roadside bomb Wednesday in the northern city of Mosul.

More than 100 members of Iraq's security forces have been killed in the last 10 days in bombings and ambushes by guerrillas who accuse them of collaborating with foreign occupiers.

The shooting of Haidari underscored the vulnerability of Iraq's new governing class and raised fresh doubts about whether fledgling security forces would be able to protect politicians and voters as the nation's Jan. 30 election approaches.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi acknowledged Tuesday that "pockets" of Iraq would be too dangerous for balloting.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan acknowledged that the election would probably have some problems, but said: "We want to make sure there is as broad participation as possible in those elections. I think we all recognize that the election is not going to be perfect."

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