A suicide car-bomb explosion in Baghdad has killed the head of the U.S. - appointed Iraqi Governing Council.
The blast today (Monday) killed Abdul Zahra Othman Mohammad, better known as Izzedin Salim, at a checkpoint just outside the headquarters of the U.S. - led coalition in the Iraqi capital.
Officials say at least eight other people were killed by the blast, which struck a convoy carrying Mr. Salim -- a Shi'ite Muslim who led the Islamic Dawa movement in the southern city of Basra. He was one of 25 members of the Iraqi Governing Council, and had been serving a one-month rotating term as president of the body.
U.S. officials said the suicide attack was carried out by a driver who pulled up next to Mr. Salim's car and detonated explosives. U.S. Army General Mark Kimmitt says the blast was apparently caused by artillery rounds placed in the trunk of the bomber's vehicle. He says six Iraqis and two U.S. soldiers were wounded by the blast.
Iraq's interim foreign minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, says the attack will only strengthen the resolve of those involved in the political process of transferring sovereignty from the United States to Iraq next month.
Mr. Salim was the second Governing Council member killed since the group was formed last June. (Aquila al-Hashimi) One of three women on the U.S. - appointed body was gunned down last September in an ambush near her home in Baghdad.