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Terrorists Gun Down Kurdish Official

A senior Kurdish official died Monday after being shot by gunmen overnight in this northern city, a government official said.

Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Barazanchi, the director of internal affairs of Kirkuk province and a former police chief, was shot several times late Sunday, said Ismail al-Hadithi, Kirkuk's deputy governor.

"Insurgents have targeted him to arouse sedition and sectarianism," al-Hadithi told Associated Press Television News. "He was walking without a bodyguard and in a sensitive area."

The assassination is the second in several days, following Friday's slaying of a moderate Sunni Muslim tribal leader, Sheik Sabhan Khalaf al-Jibouri, who had close ties to Iraqi Kurds in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Kirkuk is an ethnically mixed city 180 miles north of Baghdad.

Insurgents have routinely targeted moderate tribal leaders along with Kurdish and Turkomen officials, seeking to foment ethnic tension. Militants operating here have also attacked police.