Top Iraqi intelligence officer slain

AFP-JIJI

Back-to-back suicide bombings in northern Iraq killed the head of the country’s intelligence academy and two of his guards on Saturday, officials said. No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants linked to al-Qaida often target security forces and government officials.

The blasts, the deadliest in a series of bombings that left five people dead across Iraq, come as the country grapples with nearly two months of antigovernment protests and a political crisis.

The first bomber blew himself up in front of Brig. Gen. Aouni Ali’s home in Tal Afar, north of Baghdad, killing two of his guards, including his brother, Murad, and wounding four others. A second attacker killed the general himself.

Ali, a Shiite Turkman, commanded the Baghdad Intelligence Academy, the main school for the country’s intelligence service. His house had minimal security, with a small guard shack at the gate.