BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Shiite parliament member was assassinated as he made his way from his home to a National Assembly meeting in the capital Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.

President Bush marked the occasion with a speech to a prime-time television audience in the United States, but there was little fanfare in Baghdad. Bush used the speech to highlight the progress that has been made in the last year and to reassure Americans, who polls show are becoming weary of the war, that things are going well in Iraq.

Despite the president’s upbeat message, the violence continued unabated.

A car bomber attacked the convoy of Dhari Ali al-Fayadh, an elder statesman of the National Assembly, on Tuesday morning in the al-Rashdiya district, not far from the lawmaker’s home, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Two bodyguards and the assembly member’s son also were killed in the attack, according to al-Fayadh’s colleagues in the national assembly.

Al-Fayadh, who was in his late 80s and was a member of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was the oldest member of the assembly and was respected by his peers. When the assembly first convened, he was chosen to be the speaker until one could be elected.

He is the second member of the assembly to be assassinated. Lamia Abed Khadouri al-Sagri, also a Shiite, was killed April 27 in Baghdad.

Al-Qaida in Iraq posted a message on an Islamist militant Web site claiming responsibility for the attack against al-Fayadh.

As news of al-Fayadh’s death spread Tuesday, some Shiite assembly members said they worry that they too are vulnerable. The predominantly Sunni-led insurgency has mostly targeted the Shiite majority.

“The protection of assembly members is not enough,” said Abbas al-Bayati, a Shiite Turkmen. “The government should provide its members armored cars, weapons and proper training for our bodyguards.”

In a separate attack Tuesday, a Baghdad city councilman and member of the Iraqi Islamic Party was killed at a market near his home in the city, a party spokesman said. Shakir Abdul Fattah was gunned down as he left the market in the Khadra neighborhood.

The Iraqi Islamic Party sat out the national elections in January, but is widely considered the most influential and moderate of Sunni political organizations. Often, the party has been critical of the Shiite-dominated government and the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marines aided by sailors and Iraqi Army soldiers launched another major operation in western Anbar province in the military’s ongoing effort to root out terrorists believed to be taking refuge in that part of the country.

As of late Tuesday, the U.S. military had revealed little information about the operation that is targeting the area on the Euphrates River between the volatile cities of Hit and Haditha.

About 1,000 U.S. troops are taking part in the mission that has been dubbed Operation Sword.

Outside of Mussayib, a town about 40 miles south of Baghdad, an attacker wearing a vest laden with explosives blew himself up near a police checkpoint, killing one and wounding 17, the Interior Ministry spokesman said.


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