Iraq’s prime minister survives attack in Baghdad convoy

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Abadi injured but stays on form despite attack near Baghdad in which car bomb and gunmen opened fire

The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, survived an assassination attempt in Baghdad on Friday when a car bomb exploded next to his convoy and two gunmen opened fire on the vehicle, police and a government official said.

The explosion, which came during a stop on the way back to the capital from the eastern province of Diyala, is the latest of a series of violent attacks in Iraq this year.

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Officials and witnesses said at least two guards were killed and another five wounded. A police officer said two guards had been killed, but his chief of staff disputed that.

Abadi, who had joined other officials in the convoy, suffered a hand injury. He was sent to a field hospital in the capital and was expected to travel back later on Friday.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

A senior government official told Reuters that gunmen had disguised themselves as police and tried to stop the convoy but Abadi escaped injury and ordered a search to find those responsible.

Shortly afterwards a suicide car bomb in south-east Baghdad killed seven people, including three young children, security sources said.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Baghdad and other cities against corruption on Friday to mark the start of what has been billed as “Decisive Storm”, a weeks-long campaign that is expected to focus on parliament and top government posts.

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