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Gunmen kill Iraqi provincial candidate

BAGHDAD — Gunmen killed a provincial election candidate Friday in a drive-by shooting in a restive northern city, authorities said.

A police official said the attack on Muhanad Ghazi occurred as he was walking home in the city of Mosul. Ghazi was running as a member of a party supported by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

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A hospital official confirmed the death. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.

Iraqi authorities earlier delayed the provincial council voting in two Sunni-dominated provinces — Anbar and Ninevah — citing security concerns. The elections in these provinces are set for June 20.

The attack came just a day after a failed assassination attempt on the governor of Ninevah Province, Atheel al-Nujaifi.

The Thursday attack in the Sunni-dominated province in northern Iraq left two people killed and three others wounded. Two provincial police officials said that a car bomb went off next to the motorcade of Atheel al-Nujaifi in Mosul, 220 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Police say the governor, the brother of Parliament speaker Osmam al-Nujaifi, escaped unhurt but two civilian passersby were killed.

Mosul has recently been the scene of a series of deadly attacks and clashes amid a rising tide of sectarian and political violence hitting Iraq.

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