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3 government officials are killed in Iraq

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
  • The officials are shot in three separate neighborhoods in Baghdad
  • The gunmen used pistols equipped with silencers
  • In a separate incident, a bomb blast wounds two

Baghdad (CNN) -- Three Iraqi government officials were assassinated by gunmen using pistols equipped with silencers in separate neighborhoods in the capital Saturday, officials with the Interior Ministry said.

Yousif Abdullatif, a Defense Ministry employee, was shot dead in the al-Jadriya neighborhood in central Baghdad, officials said.

Director General of the Iraqi Taxes Committee Foad Fadhel was killed in the al-Jamia neighborhood in western Baghdad, they said.

Mohammed Qassim, an officer working at the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, was shot dead by gunmen in the Mansour neighborhood in western Baghdad, the officials said.

Separately, in the Saydiya neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, a sticky bomb attached to a civilian vehicle exploded, wounding two people inside the car.

Government figures show the death toll in Iraq has been rising.

In March, 247 Iraqis were killed, up from 197 people in February. Another 370 people were wounded in March.

Overall, violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since the peak of the sectarian violence between 2005 and 2007, but mortar attacks, bombs and assassinations are still commonplace.