BAGHDAD, Iraq – The head of the Iraqi Governing Council was killed in a suicide car bombing near a checkpoint outside the coalition headquarters in central Baghdad on Monday, dealing a blow to U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq ahead of a handover of sovereignty on June 30.
Abdel-Zahraa Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, was the second and highest-ranking member of the U.S.-appointed council to be assassinated. He was among nine Iraqis, including the bomber, who were killed, Iraqi officials said.
“Days like today convince us even more so that the transfer must stay on track,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, speaking on CNN.