[JURIST] The son of a top Iraqi judge was killed by gunmen Saturday and his body dumped in the mostly Sunni Baghdad neighborhood of Azamiyah. Twenty-two year old Ahmed Midhat al-Mahmoud was himself a lawyer and died along with two bodyguards. His father, Midhat al-Mahmoud, is the Shiite leader of the Higher Judicial Council, the supervisory entity that administers the Iraqi justice system. The senior Al-Mahmoud survived a suicide bomb attack on his house last December and an attack by gunmen on his convoy [MIPT report] in Baghdad in March 2005.
Violence in Iraq has intensified lately as Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki [Wikipedia backgrounder] has struggled to assemble his Cabinet before the May 22 constitutional deadline, when the parliament will vote on his selections. Earlier this week Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called for political parties in the country to unite against crime and terrorism, which killed 762 people in Baghdad alone [AP report] in April according to Iraqi government figures. Iraqi judges and lawyers have hardly been immune from attacks and assassinations; well over a dozen jurists and lawyers involved in the constitutional drafting process [JURIST report], in the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST report] or simply working in dangerous areas of the country [JURIST report] have previously been murdered. AP has more.