Some 20 dead in Iraq, including aide to most influential Shiite cleric
Gunmen killed an aide to Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric and two bodyguards in a drive-by shooting outside a Baghdad mosque Friday. Elsewhere in the capital, a car bomb went off near a checkpoint outside offices of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Islamic Dawa Party, killing one person and injuring at least four more, officials said, according to The AP.
Shiite cleric Kamal Ezz al-Deen al-Ghuraifi, an aide to prominent Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was shot as he was about to leave al-Doreen mosque after leading prayers, according to his son, Hamid Kamal. Police Lt. Thair Mahmoud confirmed the attack. Al-Ghuraifi, in his 60s, had been a Baghdad representative of al-Sistani for the past decade.
Other attacks in Baghdad and in and around the city of Samarra further north killed 14 police and soldiers and wounded at least 15, police and army sources said.
A TV anchorman was abducted and found dead west of Mosul and a civil servant was killed in a drive-by shooting in eastern Baghdad.
In the attack on the Islamic Dawa Party offices in Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood, the suicide bomber detonated the car near a checkpoint not far from the building, which used to be al-Jaafari's house. A neighbor was killed and four armed guards for the compound were wounded.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. Marine convoy in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi instead killed two civilians and wounded two others. Another roadside bomb missed a U.S. military convoy in the New Baghdad district but killed a civilian and wounded three others.