Iraq finance minister unhurt in bombing

By REUTERS
January 2, 2012 15:53

 
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BAGHDAD - Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie al-Esawi, a prominent Sunni Muslim politician, escaped unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded near his car and wounded two of his security guards, his office and a health official said on Monday.

Esawi is one of the leaders of the Sunni-supported, cross-sectarian Iraqiya political bloc, ensnared in a crisis triggered when Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sought the arrest of a Sunni vice president and the ouster of his own deputy, another prominent Sunni, last month.

The crisis threatens Iraq's fragile power-sharing government, a fractious alliance of Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions that has made little headway on legislation since it was formed a year ago.

Esawi was in a convoy of vehicles heading to Baghdad on Sunday when a bomb exploded in the town of Ishaqi, 100 km (60 miles) north of the capital, said Zaid Mohammed, the finance ministry's media manager.

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