Allawi escapes assassination attempt

Iraq's outgoing prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has escaped a car bomb assassination attempt which targeted his convoy in Baghdad.

    This was the fifth attempt on Allawi's life, an aide said

    At least two policemen were killed in the attack that occurred late on Wednesday night while Allawi was being driven home from a meeting.

    "Thank God, the prime minister is well, but some policemen and members of his security team were killed," his spokesman Thair al-Naqib said.

    Reports said a bomber attempted to ram his explosive-laden vehicle into Allawi's convoy. After security guards opened fire at him, the attacker blew himself up.

    The attack took place around the al-Faris al-Arabi roundabout near Zawra Park on the city's west side.

    It was a massive blast and many homes in the area were badly damaged.


    An interim Interior Ministry spokesman said earlier that two policemen were killed and one wounded in the attack.

    The attacker's pickup truck was packed with TNT and mortar rounds, sources said.

    Al-Naqib said members of Allawi's parliamentary bloc were travelling with him, but was unable to identify them or say anything about their condition.

    The Interior Ministry spokesman said a suspect identified as Amir Mijbil al-Midab, an officer in Iraq's former army, was arrested near the scene of the bombing.

    This was the fifth attempt on Allawi's life. Another "major plot" against the prime minister was uncovered one week ago, al-Naqib said.

    Ramadi attack

    Meanwhile, Aljazeera reported a tanker packed with explosives exploded near a US military position in central Ramadi.

    The blast was followed by fierce shelling of mortar rounds targeting the governorate building, used as a base by US troops.

    Intermittent clashes also erupted between fighters and US troops in other parts of Ramadi during the day. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.