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By Safa Haeri
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2004

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TEHRAN 15 Apr. Khalil Na'imi, the cultural and press attache at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad was shot and killed on Tuesday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA confirmed.

Eyewitnesses said as Mr. Na'imi drove off the Embassy, his car came under a hell of fire shot by unidentified gunmen firing from a passing car.

No group has so far claimed responsibility.

The killing happens as an Iran diplomatic delegation, led by Mr. Hoseyn Sadeqi, the General Director of the Persian Gulf and Arab Department at the Foreign Affairs Ministry reached the embattled Iraqi Capital of Baghdad on Wednesday to mediate between the Americans and the Sunni and Shi'ites that fight with them.

According to an American diplomat, Iran had accepted the mediation after receiving a demand from Britain, a proposal that was also accepted by the American side, engulfed more in more in fronts both on the north, particularly in the Sunni city of Fallujah and to the south by the so-called Army of Mahdi, headed by Hojjatoleslam Moqtada al Sadr, a turbulent Iraqi cleric.

So far, various Sunni groups are holding 40 foreign hostages, among them Italians, Americans, South Koreans, Canadians and one Briton.

But while they killed one young Italian hostage last night, they freed the three Japanese. ENDS IRANIAN ATTACHE SHOT 15404



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