MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) - Iraqi Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi, locked in a dispute with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has escaped an apparent assassination attempt, the Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera reported on Sunday citing Issawi's office and security sources.
Issawi's convoy was hit by a roadside bomb between the towns of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, on Sunday.
The explosion came amid a political crisis between the Shia premier and his mainly Sunni coalition partners in the government.
“A roadside bomb exploded near his convoy,” Issawi’s office said. “His car was not hit and he is safe, but two guards were wounded.”
Police sources said no one was injured but confirmed that the convoy had been hit by shrapnel.
Issawi, who has publicly called for Maliki to be replaced, has been one of the central figures in protests by minority Sunnis against the Shia-dominated Baghdad government after his bodyguards were arrested on terrorism charges.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.