Senior Iraqi oil official assassinated

Nov. 3, 2004 at 7:14 AM

BAGHDAD, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A high-ranking Iraqi oil official was gunned down and killed as he left his Baghdad home for work early Wednesday, the BBC reported.

Hussein Ali Fattal was the director-general of a by-products distribution company, and the second senior official assassinated in two days. Monday, the deputy governor of Baghdad was also ambushed and killed.

Hours before, Iraqi police reported a U.S. contractor of Lebanese origin, Radim Sadeq, had been seized from his home by gunmen in Baghdad overnight.

The abduction is the second this week in the affluent Mansour district. Three foreigners -- a Filipino, a Nepali and a U.S. citizen -- and three Iraqi guards were kidnapped Monday.

As another part of the assault on the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, arson-attributed fires raged near major oil wells near the northern city of Kirkuk after a series of attacks Tuesday. The fires are expected to stop exports for the next 10 days, the report said.

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