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Armed insurgents try to assassinate pro-government tribal chief in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 31 (KUNA) -- Gunmen burst into house of a tribal chief aligned with the government at dawn on Thursday and opened up a hail of gunfire, seriously wounding him along with his wife, police said.
The unknown gunmen stormed the residence of Sheikh Obeid Al-Masoudi, the chief of Al-Masoudi clan, in the town of Al-Iskandaria south of Baghdad, and targeted him and his wife with volleys of automatic gunfire. He and his wife were critically wounded in the attack and the couple were whisked to hospital, a police spokesman said.
Hospital sources said the condition of the clan chief was critical and that he was suffering from serious cuts as a result of several hits with bullets.
Sheikh Al-Masoudi has recently established an alliance with several tribes in Babel Governorate, south of Baghdad, reminiscent to the pro-government tribal alliance in the province of Al-Anbar, west of the Iraqi capital. He, along with other tribal chiefs, signed an accord prohibiting spilling of Iraqi blood, rejecting any breach of person's honor and barring aid to insurgents.
They have also prohibited attacks on religious sites and supported the government's national conciliation process.
Al-Anbar has witnessed a spate of attacks and counter attacks pitting armed insurgents against tribal gunmen aligned with the government. (end) mhg.rk KUNA 311029 May 07NNNN