Sunni paramilitary leader assassinated in Iraq

11:49, June 06, 2011      

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A leader of Iraq's Sunni paramilitary group was gunned down by unidentified assailants on Sunday near the capital, a local police source said. The convoy of Sheik Majid Jassim al-Obeidi, one of the leaders of the Awakening Council, was attacked on Friday afternoon by gunmen using automatic weapons in a drive-by shooting, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Obeidi and his deputy Jamal Ahmed al-Zobaie were killed immediately at the scene. Their bodies were carried to the morgue.

The assailants had fled the scene and securities forces were hunting for their whereabouts, the source said.

The Awakening Council, or al-Sahwa in Arabic, consists of different paramilitary groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al- Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.

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