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Iraqi Judge Assassinated in Mosul - 2003-12-23

An Iraqi judge has been assassinated in the restive northern city of Mosul. It is the second time in two weeks that a judge in this city has been killed.

Unidentified gunmen pulled up in a car next to the judge, opened fire and sped away. Iraqi police say he died of six gunshot wounds to the back.

The slain judge was a prominent member of the Turkmen ethnic group living in the ethnically mixed city.

Insurgents have targeted many people working with the coalition and the U.S. military, including Iraqi police and translators. A Christian judge was shot in similar circumstances two weeks ago in Mosul.

Meanwhile, in Ba'qubah, north of Baghdad, American troops say they arrested several men suspected of anti-coalition attacks, including a high-ranking officer in Saddam Hussein's military. Several of the other men are believed to have ties to Saddam's right-hand man, Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri, one of the coalition's top wanted men.

Around the country, U.S. troops are gearing up for what they fear will be a wave of attacks around the Christmas holiday.