Iraq education minister escapes assassination bid
Iraq's higher education minister, a Sunni, escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday after gunmen opened fire on his motorcade as he was traveling in southern Baghdad, a spokesman said.
The gunmen were hiding in nearby orchards when they struck the motorcade carrying Higher Education Minister Abed Theyab, killing one guard and seriously wounding another, ministry spokesman Basil al-Khatib said.
The attack occurred in the lawless neighborhood of Dora, a Sunni insurgent stronghold in the capital.
The Sunni minister was involved in a dispute with Shiite members of the government late last year when he said as many as 80 people had been abducted in a brazen raid on the Higher Education Ministry compound in the capital.
Theyab briefly suspended his membership in the Shiite-controlled Cabinet, calling the lack of security that allowed such attacks "a farce," but he resumed his Cabinet post shortly afterward.
Also on Wednesday, a mortar attack struck a residential area in eastern Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding three others, while another one hit a neighbourhood on the western side of the capital, also killing a civilian and wounding others, police said.
A civilian also was killed and three were wounded in a drive-by shooting near Baqouba, northeast of the capital, police said.