Officials targeted in Iraq attacks

In continuing violence across Iraq, a council member from a town north of Baghdad has been shot dead while a provincial governor has narrowly escaped a second attempt on his life.

    An attempted truck bombing in Baghdad has claimed seven lives

    On Saturday morning, a group of assailants shot dead Jalil Ibrahim, a local council member, and his friend Ali Muhammad, in Taji, about 20km north of Baghdad, home to US and Iraqi military bases, and a centre of anti-US activity, a police official said.

    Police also said a US patrol opened fire and killed a suspect who tried to flee in his car in western Baghdad, near the old Muthanna airport.
     
    The US military said it had no information on the incident.

    Elsewhere, the governor of Diyala province, Abd Allah Hasan al-Jaburi, narrowly escaped a bomb attack on his convoy in Baquba that wounded two policemen and two of his bodyguards, police said.

    By his own account, al-Jaburi has survived at least two assassination attempts in the past year.

    Tanker blast

    On Saturday, rescuers dug out seven bodies, including two children, from the rubble of a west Baghdad home, raising to nine the toll from a fuel-tanker explosion that appears to have been an attack on the Jordanian embassy, police said.

    Up to 20 people were injured in
    Friday's truck-bomb attack

    Up to 20 people were injured. 

    The truck was driving towards the villa in al-Mansur district which has housed the Jordanian mission since a truck bombing last year destroyed the previous embassy, a witness said.

    But the tanker became jammed in a chicane of concrete barriers outside the embassy, designed to prevent just such attacks, and then detonated, he added.
     
    A family home across the street collapsed in rubble and flames, the witness said: "I just saw a boy running out into the street. Everyone else was lost."

    Severe burns

    The Jordanian embassy itself, protected by high concrete blast walls, sustained little obvious damage.

    Residents said they could hear small-arms fire immediately after the blast.

    A doctor at Baghdad's al-Yarmuk hospital said most of the casualties suffered second-degree burns. Several had been sent to burns centres at other hospitals.

     

    Aljazeera learned that the blast originated in al-Amirat Street, where several embassies and houses of Iraqi officials are located.

    More than 15 homes in the vicinity as well as vehicles were set ablaze.

    Investigation

    The US military said it was investigating the explosion.

    Jordanian diplomats moved into a three-villa complex on the street after their main building in another part of the city was targeted by a car bomb last year.

    The Najaf police chief said Syria 
    backed the 19 December blast

    The former Jordanian embassy building in Baghdad was the target of a bomb blast in August last year that killed at least seven people.

    No group has come forward yet to say it carried out the attack.

    In a separate development, the Iraqi police chief in Najaf on Saturday accused the Syrian government of involvement in last weekend's deadly bombing that killed 52 people in the Shia city. 

    One of three suspects arrested in Najaf immediately after the
    attack "confessed that Syrian intelligence services had played a role in the blast" on 19 December that wounded more than 140 people, according to General Ghalib al-Jazairi.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.