Iraq deputy PM escapes assassination attempt

Gunmen attacked Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al-Mutlak\’s convoy in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad on Friday, killing a guard and wounding at least five, officials said.
Friday\’s attack on one of the country\’s most senior Sunni Arab politicians comes less than three weeks before a contentious parliamentary election, the first since US troops left the country, which will be a major test for security forces.
"Mr Mutlak is safe and was not hurt," an assistant to the deputy prime minister, who was travelling in the convoy, told the AFP news agency.
The identity of the attackers was not immediately clear.
While an Interior Ministry official said only that gunmen attacked the convoy, Mutlak\’s assistant specifically blamed the army.
"We were the target of an assassination attempt by the army who opened fire on us, and the bodyguards responded in the same way," the assistant said, without elaborating.
There is widespread anger among Iraq\’s Sunni Arab minority, which complains of being marginalised and mistreated by the Shia-led government and security forces.
The attack comes ahead of an April 30 general election, which Mutlak\’s list is contesting.
Source: AFP and agencies

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