Iraq: Senior Shi'ite political official shot dead

Gunmen shot dead Saturday a senior official in the largest Shi'ite Iraqi political group and his wife as they drove through western Baghdad, police said. Ali al-Athab, member of the political bureau of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, of SCIRI, was gunned down in the Yarmouk neighborhood about midday, said police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq. He and his wife, Baidaa Aboud Jassim, died instantly. Several SCIRI officials have been killed in the past in attacks claimed by Sunni insurgents. The group's leader, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, heads the largest bloc in parliament with 130 seats in the 275-member parliament.