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Pro-Allawi election candidate gunned down in northern Iraq

The murder of Faris Jasem Al Juburi comes less than two weeks after the assassination in Mosul of Bashar Hamid Al Agaidi

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Mosul: A member of former prime minister Eyad Allawi's political bloc was gunned down in his home near the main northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Saturday, a security official said.

The murder of Faris Jasem Al Juburi, who was not successful in a March general election, comes less than two weeks after the assassination in Mosul of Bashar Hamid Al Agaidi, who won a seat as part of Allawi's Iraqiya list.

"Armed men raided the house of Faris Jasem Al Juburi in Al Mowali village and shot and killed him instantly," an Iraqi security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said the men fled the village, 20 kilometres west of Mosul, immediately after the shooting.

Al Juburi was a pilot in now executed dictator Saddam Hussain's armed forces before their dissolution following the US-led invasion of 2003.

Former air force pilots, all of whom were required to be members of Saddam's Baath Party, have been targets for insurgents and Shiite militias since the war.

Al Juburi's death follows the May 24 murder of Al Agaidi, who was ambushed outside his home in Mosul and died of his wounds in hospital, the first such murder since the March elections which have yet to result in a new government.

Following Al Agaidi's death, Amnesty International called on Iraqi authorities to investigate the MP's assassination.

"More must be done to protect the hundreds of civilians who are being killed or injured in increasing attacks by armed groups, as the ongoing uncertainty over when a new Iraqi government will be formed continues," said the London-based watchdog's Middle East and North Africa director, Malcolm Smart.

While Allawi's Iraqiya bloc came first in the March 7 election with 91 seats in the 325-member parliament, no group has yet assembled the parliamentary majority necessary to form a government.