Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Killed in Baghdad

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Bassam Kubba

Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Bassam Kubba, shown in a May 2004 file photo. Reuters hide caption

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A top official at Iraq's foreign ministry is killed in Baghdad during an ambush by unknown gunmen. Bassam Kubba, a career diplomat, is the first member of Iraq's new interim government to lose his life amid continuing violence and security problems.

Elsewhere in Iraq, radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr shows more signs of cooperating with a cease-fire in Najaf. U.S. officials say they're encouraged that al-Sadr has indicated he will support the interim government.

But continued unrest in Iraq makes it difficult to jump-start the nation's nascent economy. Attacks on oil pipelines alone are estimated to have cost as much as $200 million.

Hear NPR's Linda Wertheimer and NPR's Emily Harris.

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