Gunmen kill workers at Baghdad bakery

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The Independent Online

Masked gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a Baghdad bakery today, killing 11 people, police and witnesses said.

The shooting took place in the New Baghdad neighbourhood, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area. It was unclear why the bakery was targeted.

Meanwhile an aide to Iraq's most revered Shi'ite Muslim cleric was injured in an assassination attempt in Baghdad after receiving threats from militants opposed to his support for Iraq's elections, a relative said today.

Sheik Ammar al-Hilali, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was shot seven times by gunmen who opened fire from two cars as he left sunset prayers at a mosque on Tuesday, said the relative, Ali al-Lafta.

The sheik is being treated at a Baghdad hospital, he said. It wasn't clear if his wounds were life threatening.

Ayatollah al-Sistani himself was a strong backer of the vote and even declared voting a religious duty for every man and woman.