Iraqi minister escapes assassination attempt

IANS

Baghdad, Jan 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Iraqi Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi, locked in a dispute with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has survived an apparent assassination attempt, Al Jazeera reported.

Issawi's office and security sources told the channel that the minister's convoy was hit by a roadside bomb between the towns of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, Sunday.

The explosion came amid a political crisis between the Shia prime minister and his mainly Sunni coalition partners in the government.

"A roadside bomb exploded near his convoy. His car was not hit and he is safe, but two guards were wounded," the minister's office said.

Issawi, who has publicly called for Maliki to be replaced, has been one of the central figures in protests by minority Sunnis against the Shia-dominated government after his bodyguards were arrested on terrorism charges.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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