A car bomb exploded in the path of Saad al-Din Arjaj's convoy in the northern city of Kirkuk, wounding four guards, but he escaped, said police Colonel Adil Zain al-Abidin.

He was chosen last week to head the Iraqi Turkmen Front party, succeeding Faruq Abd Allah who was elected to the national assembly in Baghdad.

The attack against the police, which also left two injured, occurred in Madain, south of capital Baghdad, the scene of a hostage saga in April that saw US and Iraqi forces retake the town.

Nearly 80 Shia residents taken hostage by alleged Sunni Arab fighters were reportedly killed and dumped in a nearby river then.

In Baghdad, two civilians were wounded by a bomb that targeted a US convoy in the central al-Fadil neighbourhood, while on Tuesday US troops found three bodies with gunshot wounds.