Iraq defense minister convoy hit by bomb
A roadside bomb has hit Iraq’s acting defense minister’s convoy in west of the capital, Baghdad, injuring at least two people.
Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said in a statement on Tuesday that a roadside bomb struck the convoy of Saadun al-Dulaimi as it traveled between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.
The blast wounded two of Dulaimi’s guards and damaged one of the vehicles, the spokesman added.
It was not immediately clear whether or not Dulaimi was traveling in the convoy at the time of the blast.
The attack came after 18 Iraqi military officers were killed in an ambush on December 21 in the Sunni Muslim-dominated province of Anbar.
The commander of the Iraqi army’s Seventh Division as well as the commander of its 28th Brigade and several other high-ranking officers were among those killed in the attack.
The Iraqi army launched strikes in the desert of Anbar following the attack on military officials, destroying two camps belonging to an al-Qaeda-linked militant group.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned that an anti-government sit-in site in the city of Ramadi in Anbar has become a “headquarters” for al-Qaeda.
“I say clearly and honestly that the sit-in site in Anbar has turned into a headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda,” Maliki stated on December 22.
The Iraqi prime minister has called on Iraqi forces to take a “firm stance to end” the sit-in in Ramadi, which is the largest city in Anbar.