x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Iraqi provincial official escapes assassination

The governor of Anbar province in Iraq survived another assassination attempt, escaping an attack that left six people wounded.

BAGHDAD // The governor of Iraq's western Anbar province survived at least a fourth assassination attempt in just over a year yesterday, escaping unharmed a suicide attack that left six people wounded, police and health officials said.

Qasim al Fahadawi, a former businessman who has friendly ties with the US military in Anbar, lost an arm and underwent intensive surgery to rebuild his leg after a suicide bomber struck his Ramadi office in December 2009.

Yesterday's attack took place in Ramadi, the provincial capital located some 115 kilometres west of Baghdad, when another bomber rammed his car into Mr al Fahadawi's 12-vehicle convoy.

Mr al Fahadawi was not hurt in the blast, but three of his guards and three bystanders were wounded, police said. A health official confirmed the casualties.

Anbar province, a Sunni Muslim stronghold that was once filled with al Qaeda militants, was the birthplace of the government-backed militia known as Sahwa, or Sons of Iraq.

Ramadi has long been a scene of sporadic suicide bombings by al Qaeda against local security and civilian officials, mainly against the government's provincial headquarters. In December, suicide bombings outside the headquarters killed 26 people over two days of violence.