2 aides to top Iraqi Shi'ite cleric escape assassination attempts

Two aides to Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric have escaped assassination in separate attacks in southern Iraq, Police said Tuesday. According to police, Sheik Ali al-Fudhaili was seriously wounded in one attack and his driver was killed when gunmen ambushed their vehicle in Basra. Gunmen also fired on the car of Habib Salman al-Khatib in the Shi'ite city of Kut. Al-Khatib was not injured but one of his guards was wounded, police said. Both clerics are representatives of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.