CORRECTED ~ Two Sunni members of Iraq constitution committee shot dead Tom Henry at 3:46 PM ET
[JURIST] Late reports from Reuters indicate that two members of the 71-person Iraq constitution committee [official website] were shot dead earlier today, rather than three members as reported earlier [JURIST report]. Sheikh Mujbil al-Sheikh Isa, Dhamin Hussein Ileywi and Aziz Ibrahim were all killed by gunfire as they left a restaurant in Baghdad's central Karrada district, but only Isa and Ileywi were among the 15 Sunnis who recently joined the committee, with Ibrahim described by political associates as a member of a board advising the committee. The killings come at a critical juncture as the committee finalizes its work on a draft that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said earlier Tuesday could be finished before the end of the month [JURIST report], ahead of the August 15 deadline. Prince Hassan of Jordan [Wikipedia profile] said that in light of the murders and the 150 recent deaths from suicide attacks, "civil war has actually started in Iraq and I don't think there is any other way of putting it." Both the US embassy in Baghdad [official website] and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan have condemned the murders with the embassy saying it felt strongly that this incident would not "deter [Iraqis] from their goal of a free and democratic government". Reuters has more.
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