Baghdad attacks kill engineer, politician

A pair of attacks killed an Iraqi electricity employee and a Shiite politician in Baghdad on Monday, authorities said.

Nine others were wounded in a string of strikes across the Iraqi capital that appeared to take aim at government and security officials — a frequent target of militants seeking to undermine U.S.-backed efforts to stabilize the country.

Police and hospital officials said the gunmen intercepted the Electricity Ministry engineer's car in western Baghdad during the Monday morning rush-hour.

Ninety minutes later, a bomb planted on the side of a road on the other side of the capital exploded as the motorcade of Shiite politician Ali al-Shura drove by. Baghdad police said al-Shura, a member of the Shabaniya movement that is linked to the Iraqi National Alliance party, was killed and two of his bodyguards wounded.

The Iraqi National Alliance is a Shiite political organization that won 70 seats in last year's parliamentary election and helped Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki secure a second term. Alliance officials refused to comment Monday on al-Shura's position in the party. A Baghdad morgue official confirmed the casualties.

Officials said four other bombs wounded seven more people in the capital, including two bodyguards protecting an Education Ministry adviser.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically from just a few years ago when the nation teetered on the brink of civil war. But sporadic bombings and shootings continue on a near-daily basis.