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Senior Iraqi Official Slain In Baghdad

19 April 2005 -- The Iraqi Interior Ministry says a senior official was killed at his Baghdad home yesterday.

The ministry named the man as Major-General Adnan Midhish Kharagoli, an adviser to the defense minister. He was killed along with his nephew when 10 gunmen burst into his home.

Earlier, Interior Ministry officials identified the victim as Major-General Adnan Thabet.

Just hours earlier yesterday, it was Thabett who had told reporters that a hostage crisis was exaggerated.

Senior officials in a leading Shi'ite party have been insisting that Sunni insurgents took up to 150 Shi'ites hostage over the weekend in Madain -- some 30 kilometers south of Baghdad -- and threatened to kill them unless all Shi'ites left the area.

But raids there by Iraqi forces -- backed by U.S. troops -- failed to produce any evidence of kidnappers or hostages.