Suicide bombers target governor of Iraq province
A suicide bomber in a car tried to blow up the governor of Iraq's desert province of Anbar on Monday, killing one of his bodyguards and wounding several people, officials said.world Updated: Jan 17, 2011 14:43 IST
A suicide bomber in a car tried to blow up the governor of Iraq's desert province of Anbar on Monday, killing one of his bodyguards and wounding several people, officials said.
The sprawling western province containing Iraq's Sunni heartland continues to struggle to contain an al Qaeda-led insurgency despite a sharp fall in overall violence in the country almost eight years after the US-led invasion.
"A suicide car bomb targeted the convoy of Governor Qassim Mohammed in the middle of Ramadi as he was heading to his office," said Mohammed Fathi, a media adviser in the governor's office.
"The governor escaped unharmed but his vehicle was damaged and he was moved to another vehicle," Fathi added.
A police source from Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad, said one of the governor's bodyguards was killed and five people were wounded, including three civilians. A second police source said nine people were wounded.
Anbar's governor is frequently targeted.
Last month, 17 people were killed and dozens wounded when two suicide bombers drove cars laden with explosives at the provincial government compound in Ramadi.
In December 2009, the governor was seriously wounded when twin suicide blasts killed at least 24 and wounded more than 100 just outside the same headquarters.
Anbar was the heart of a Sunni Islamist insurgency after the invasion and fell into al Qaeda's grip before its tribal leaders started turning against the group in 2006. Its two main cities, Ramadi and Falluja, saw some of the war's fiercest fighting.
Fewer than 50,000 US troops remain in Iraq after the US military officially ended combat operations last August. They are focused on advising and assisting Iraqi security forces as they take the lead in the fight against a weakened yet resilient insurgency.