World Bulletin / News Desk
A roadside bomb hit Iraqi Finance Minister Rafaie al-Esawi's convoy west of Baghdad as he left a meeting on Sunday, wounding two of his guards, his office and security sources said.
It was not clear whether Esawi was the target of the bombing. The Sunni Muslim minister is caught up in a crisis that has triggered protests in Sunni regions and is straining Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's power-sharing government.
"A roadside bomb exploded near his convoy. His car was not hit and he is safe, but two guards were wounded," a spokesman for Esawi's office said.
Police sources confirmed the convoy had been hit by shrapnel, but said there had been no injuries.
Thousands of Sunni Muslims have taken to the streets over the last three weeks to demonstrate against Maliki's government.
The protests are stirring worries that Iraq could slide back into the sectarian confrontation of its recent past.
They erupted in late December after officials arrested members of Esawi's security team. Authorities denied that the case was political, but Sunni leaders rejected the arrests as part of a crackdown on their community.
Attack comes day after 36 people are killed by twin car bombings in Iraq's southern city of Al-Samawah
We agreed the G7 should send a strong signal in this sense,' Japanese PM says after talks with his Italian counterpart
'France forcefully condemns the (Damascus) regime's attacks that have caused many casualties (and) calls on the supporters of the regime... to use their influence on Damascus to silence the weapons,' foreign ministry says
Khartoum has stepped up its claim to the territories after Egypt transferred two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia
European Commission says Ankara has made 'a lot of efforts' for the EU visa liberalisation
Three Boko Haram militants were killed and nine captured in operations in NE Borno State
Russia's Lavrov to meet UN Syria envoy in Moscow Tuesday
Investors to attend two-day conference in Sarajevo from Wednesday
The evacuation has passed off largely without incident, authorities say
Sudan’s Constitutional Court on Sunday has ordered to allow Al-Tayyar newspaper to resume publishing following more than four-month suspension by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
Thousands of supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have held a sit-in inside Baghdad’s Green Zone after storming parliament on Saturday
'Now, with the new phenomenon of [ISIL], this is going to challenge us for years to come,' John Brennan says
Palestinian flag has been banned from Eurovision Song Contest Stockholm 2016
'Two car bombs went off in town. The first one was at around midday near a bus station in the city centre,' according to police
Supporters of firebrand Shia cleric demand government of ‘technocrats’ untainted by corruption, sectarianism
Order comes day after supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone and temporarily occupied parliament building