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Shiite Party Official Killed, Allegedly by Saddam Loyalists - 2003-12-18


Iraq's largest Shiite Muslim political party says Saddam Hussein loyalists have shot and killed one of its officials.

The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq said Thursday that the official, Muhannad al-Hakim, was gunned down Wednesday near his home in Baghdad.

A party leader says Mr. al-Hakim had received death threats from members of Saddam's ousted regime.

Meanwhile, a U.S. military spokeswoman said Thursday that one U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded in an ambush in Baghdad late Wednesday.

She said the soldiers' unit was on patrol in the central part of the capital when the attack occurred. An Iraqi translator was also wounded.

In other developments, the current president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, told reporters in London Wednesday that Saddam will be tried by a special Iraqi tribunal. Asked if Saddam should receive the death penalty, the Iraqi political leader said the court will be responsible for deciding his punishment.

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