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Bomb kills southern Iraqi governor

  • Story Highlights
  • Roadside bomb kills the governor of Muthanna province in southern Iraq
  • Mohammed Ali al-Hassani was a member of largest Shiite group in parliament
  • Mortar and bomb attacks in Baghdad leave 4 dead and 14 injured
  • Iraqi prime minister is in Damascus, Syria, on an official three-day visit
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The governor of Muthanna province in southern Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb in the city of Samawa Monday morning, an official with Iraq's Interior Ministry said.

The wreckage of a motorcycle that exploded in Rusafi square in Baghdad.

Mohammed Ali al-Hassani was traveling with his bodyguards when the attack took place around 9 a.m. (1 a.m. ET).

The governor was a member of the Supreme Islamic Council in Iraq, the largest Shiite political group in parliament led by politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki quickly condemned the governor's killing and those who carried it out.

"Those who stand behind this heinous crime want to drown the province in chaos and insecurity as an implementation of the agenda that does not want good for the sons of our people," Maliki said.

In a similar attack on August 11, Qadisiya province Gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza and Brig .Gen. Khalid Abed Hassan, the provincial police chief, were killed in a roadside bombing. Three of the governor's bodyguards were also killed and three others were wounded.

Muthanna is one of several southern provinces in Iraq that British forces have returned to Iraqi military control since the start of the war.

Meanwhile, at least one person was killed and three others injured when a mortar hit eastern Baghdad's Amin neighborhood Monday at midday, an Interior Ministry official said.

A few hours earlier, three people were killed and 11 injured in the Rusafi district of central Baghdad when a motorcycle rigged with explosives blew up, the ministry said.

Other developments:

  • Former top Iraqi official Tariq Aziz and 14 other officials under Saddam Hussein's regime are scheduled to face trial Tuesday in the deaths of thousands of Shiite Muslims during a 1991 uprising, a U.S. embassy spokesman said. It will be Aziz's first public appearance since his May 2006 testimony as a defense witness in the trial that led to Hussein's conviction and execution last December.
  • Al-Maliki arrived in Damascus, Syria, on Monday -- the start of an official three-day visit, Iraqi state TV reported. This is his first trip to Syria as prime minister. Video Watch discussion about what Iraq's prime minister hopes to achieve during a visit to Syria. »
  • Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Monday for a new government in Iraq, saying his trip there last week convinced him that al-Maliki is too sectarian and cannot create a stable Iraq. "I hope the Iraqi Assembly, when it reconvenes in two weeks, will vote the Maliki government out of office," he said.
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  • U.S. and Iraqi forces killed three suspected terrorists and detained 28 others during operations on Sunday and Monday targeting "terrorists facilitating the movement of al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders," according to a U.S. military news release.
  • Operation Lightning Hammer, one of two major offensives against insurgents in Iraq's Diyala province, concluded Monday with "a milestone oath" by tribal sheiks who swore to uphold security provisions, the U.S. military announced.
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