The group of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility yesterday for the assassination attempt on the leader of Iraq's largest Shiite Muslim party that killed...

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BAGHDAD, Iraq — The group of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility yesterday for the assassination attempt on the leader of Iraq’s largest Shiite Muslim party that killed and wounded dozens of people.

In a statement posted on a Web site, al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaida in Iraq said one of its members carried out the suicide attack near Abdul Aziz al-Hakim’s office Monday that killed 15 people and wounded more than 50. Al-Hakim, who was not in the office but in his adjacent house, was not hurt.

The assassination attempt came a month before Iraq’s general elections in which al-Hakim is running. Most Sunni Muslims are boycotting the vote, saying it should not be held under U.S. occupation or amid deteriorating security. Shiites, who make up 60 percent of Iraq’s 26 million people, want to show their strength through elections after living under Sunni domination for decades.

U.S. officials have offered a reward of $25 million for the capture of al-Zarqawi. He is believed to be behind numerous high-profile attacks in Iraq.

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Navy SEALs, wives sue AP over photos


SAN DIEGO — Six Navy SEALs and two wives of the commandos filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing The Associated Press of invasion of privacy and endangering lives by distributing pictures of them with Iraqi prisoners. The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, alleges that an AP reporter obtained the photos from a private Web site that the wife of one of the SEALs thought was open only to persons with a secret password.

The wire service issued a statement supporting the reporter and his use of the photos.

The lawsuit asks that AP be ordered to obscure the faces of SEALs in other photos obtained in the same manner and be barred from distributing other images from the same Web site, including wedding photos. Unspecified damages also are sought.

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