Friday, October 09, 2009

Anti-insurgent Sunni cleric murdered

'A Sunni cleric known for denouncing insurgents in Iraq was killed Friday by a bomb that ripped apart his car, a police official said, in the second targeted attack on a religious figure in as many weeks.

Activists and clerics who speak out against al-Qaida in Iraq and other insurgent groups have been attacked with some regularity, raising the possibility that the waning insurgency has shifted to a more targeted terror campaign.

Jamal Humadi was driving home after delivering his Friday sermon in Saqlawiyah, 45 miles (75 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, when a bomb attached to his car exploded, the official said. Two passengers were wounded.

Humadi was known for his opposition to al-Qaida and Sunni extremists, routinely calling on worshippers to turn away from the sectarian violence that engulfed the country two years ago.

Last week, Sunni cleric Bashir al-Juheishi was killed by a bomb attached to a car — known as a sticky bomb — in Mosul as he left a mosque there.

Al-Juheishi was also known for taking a stand against al Qaida in Mosul, a city the U.S. military has called the last urban stronghold of the group.

Insurgents carrying out such targeted attacks are using booby-trapped cans of food and toys, the military spokesman for Baghdad security warned on Friday.'

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