A powerful roadside bomb yesterday killed the governor and police chief of a southern province that has seen fierce internal fighting between Shiite factions, officials said.
The bomb struck a convoy carrying Khalil Jalil Hamza, the governor of the Qadisiyah Province, and the provincial police chief home from a funeral service for a tribal sheik at about 5pm, army Brigadier General Othman al-Farood said.
Hamza and the police chief, Major General Khalid Hassan, were killed, along with their driver and a body guard who were in the same SUV, according to al-Farood, the commander of the Iraqi army division in charge of the area.
The attack occurred in the town of Aajaf, as the convoy was headed back to the provincial capital of Diwaniyah, 130km south of Baghdad.
Diwaniyah has been the site of heavy clashes between US-Iraqi security forces and Shiite militia fighters. The area also has seen a rise in internal rivalries between rival militia forces, including the Mahdi Army that is loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.