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Suicide bomber wounds nine, misses Iraqi governor

A suicide bomb targeting senior Iraqi official wounds nine people in Iraq's western Anbar province

AFP, Monday 17 Jan 2011
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A suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car in a convoy carrying the governor of Iraq's western Anbar province on Monday, wounding three bodyguards and six policemen, officials said.

The governor was unharmed in the attack, the second in little more than a year to target Qassim Mohammed Abid.

Abid, who was elected to office in January 2009, lost his left hand in a suicide attack in Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi in December 2009.

"A suicide car bomb in the centre of Ramadi targeted a convoy carrying the governor this morning," Abid's media advisor Mohammed Fathi told AFP, adding that the governor was unhurt.

Three of Abid's bodyguards and six other policemen were wounded in the 8:30am attack, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the attack on December 30, 2009, 23 people were killed and 30 wounded including Abid. The governor and his offices have been frequent targets of insurgents in recent months. The headquarters were hit three times in 2010.

Anbar was a key Sunni insurgent base in the years after the 2003 US-led invasion, but since 2006 local tribes have sided with the American military and day-to-day violence has dropped dramatically.

While attacks across Iraq remain commonplace, violence nationwide has also declined substantially since the 2006-2007 peak. The total death toll for last month was the lowest since November 2009 and marked the fifth month in a row in which the death toll has been lower than the previous month.

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