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Iraqi deputy foreign minister assassinated
Updated: 2004-06-12 15:23

Assailants killed an Iraqi deputy foreign minister Saturday in an ambush that occurred as he was traveling to his Baghdad office, the Foreign Ministry said.

Gunmen shot Bassam Salih Kubba in Baghdad's Azimiyah district, a Sunni Muslim neighborhood where support for Saddam Hussein's regime had been strong. He died later of his wounds, said Thamir al-Adhami, the Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Kubba, 60, was one of several deputy foreign ministers, and was responsible for legal issues. He was the ministry's most senior career diplomat.

He served as the acting chief of the Iraqi mission to the United Nations in New York and as the Iraqi ambassador to China. Kubba also served on the committee which ran the ministry after the fall of Saddam's regime.

He held a master's degree in international relations from St. John's University in New York.

The attack was the second on members of the interim government in the last four days.

On Wednesday, the deputy health minister, Ammar al-Safar, escaped an assassination attempt in the Azimiyah area while he was in his way to the Health Ministry. Al-Safar's guards exchanged fire with the attackers, who opened fire on his car and then fled the scene.

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