Council Head In Fallujah Shot Dead; 3 GIs Killed
BAGHDAD, April 21 — The Fallujah City Council chairman, a critic of al- Qaeda who took the job after his three predecessors were assassinated, was killed on Saturday, the latest blow in a violent internal Sunni struggle for control of an insurgent stronghold.
In Baghdad, U. S. and Iraqi officials defended plans to build a barrier around a Sunni enclave to protect its inhabitants from surrounding Shiite areas. Residents expressed concern it would isolate the community.
Sami Abdul- Amir al- Jumaili was gunned down by attackers in a passing car outside his home in central Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad, according to police.
His assassination came a month after he agreed to take the job — the only person willing to do so — with promises to improve services and work with the Americans to ease traffic- clogging checkpoints in the city of 150,000 to 200,000.
The 65- year- old Sunni sheik was the fourth City Council chairman to be killed in about 14 months as insurgents target fellow Sunnis who are willing to cooperate with the United States and its Iraqi partners. Abdul- Amir’s predecessor, Abbas Ali Hussein, was shot dead Feb. 2.
Also Saturday, the U. S. military announced the deaths of three soldiers, killed in separate attacks.
A roadside bomb killed one U. S. soldier and wounded two while they were on a foot patrol southwest of Baghdad. Another died and three were wounded in southwestern Baghdad when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, followed by small- arms fire, the military said. And a combat security patrol in eastern Baghdad was attacked by small- arms fire, killing one soldier and wounding another.