Top Iraqi official wounded in bomb blast

Iraq’s Shi’ite vice president and a cabinet minister were wounded in an apparent assassination attempt on Monday when a bomb killed six to 10 people at a ministry in Baghdad where they were attending a ceremony.

An aide said Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a member of the Shi’ite majority that dominates the U.S.-backed government, was taken to hospital after suffering minor wounds in the blast at a hall of the Public Works Ministry building.

But one witness told Reuters the bomb explosion had thrown Abdul-Mahdi against a wall.

“When the blast occurred, Abdul-Mahdi was thrown against the wall. All his guards threw themselves on top of him,” he said.

Public Works Minister Riad Ghareeb and his deputy had also been taken to hospital after being wounded, police sources said.

The nature of their wounds was unclear, but one employee said he had spoken to the minister by telephone after the blast.

Officials had previously said the minister was unhurt.

Senior ministry officials were among those killed in the blast in the Sunni Arab neighborhood of Mansour in western Baghdad, police said

Iraq’s leaders are often targeted by militants engaged in Shi’ite-Sunni sectarian fighting.

The cause of the blast, which wounded 31 people, was under investigation. But militants are increasingly using suicide vests to launch attacks due to tighter checks on roads aimed at reducing car bombs under a U.S.-backed security plan in Baghdad.

“We know he has been sent to hospital but it’s a natural checkup,” the political source, from Iraq’s governing Shi’ite Alliance, told Reuters, referring to the vice president.

Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi forces are deployed in the capital to quell sectarian violence in an operation regarded as a final effort to stop Iraq plunging into all-out civil war.

Renewing accusations that Iranian-made weapons are being used by Iraqi militants fighting American troops, the U.S. military showed on Monday what it said was a large cache of Iranian bombs found in a raid north of Baghdad on Saturday.

The cache, displayed to reporters at a U.S. military base in Baghdad, included components to fabricate sophisticated roadside bombs, mortar bombs and rockets.

Washington, which accuses Iran of fanning violence in Iraq, is particularly concerned about so-called “explosively formed penetrators,” a deadly Iranian-made roadside bomb the U.S. military says has killed 170 U.S. soldiers in Iraq since 2004. Tehran denies it fuels violence in Iraq.

Military officials said the weaponry showed on Monday was clearly made in Iran. They said there was no way to know if the Iranian government was involved in supplying the weapons.

The attack in which Abdul-Mahdi was hurt came with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Jordan where he was undergoing medical tests after suffering extreme exhaustion and dehydration.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited

12 Responses to "Top Iraqi official wounded in bomb blast"

  1. Kent Shaw  February 27, 2007 at 2:20 am

    .

    How about Barney? He may be the brightest bulb in the Whitehouse.

    .

  2. JimZ  February 27, 2007 at 2:34 am

    Yep. With Barney you ADD a brain cell. Maybe 2 or 3. He wouldn’t be good in the paella, though.

  3. Floyd R. Turbo  February 27, 2007 at 3:53 am

    I myself personally will have a Harveys Bristol Creme -It’s down right up-right!!!

    What time does Barney start?

  4. JimZ  February 26, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Let’s see here.

    * A bomb exploded INSIDE an Iraqi government building in Baghdad.

    * Several Iraqi gov’t. officials were wounded, some officials were killed.

    * The VP that was wounded was a Shi’ite.

    * This is being construed as an “assassination attempt” on the VP.

    * Supposedly Iran supports the Shi’ite-led government AND the al-Sadr guy?

    * Supposedly, the U.S. supports the Shi’ite-led government.

    * As the CorpoMedia have said, but don’t say much, Saudi Arabia is supporting the Sunnis. The very ones we are told are the actual source of the “insurgency”.

    * Not one peep about al-Queda here; you know, the ones that allegedly attacked the WTC. Remember, “those guys that were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt”.

    * Linked to this is an unrelated story about bombs allegedly made in Iran (sure?). We don’t know if they were just made in Iran and back-channeled

    to Iraq unknown to the Iranian gov’t, or provided through a front-channel from the Iranian gov’t.

    * We are supposed to be turning over security of the country to the Iraqis? The ones that can’t secure their own gov’t building?

    * This occurred during the new “security crackdown” and our escalation of troops to secure Baghdad?

    * This came the week after the United Kingdom announced their phased pull out because “things are going so well”.

    * This came days after the United Nations nuke agency said the intelligence they were provided from the Bush Admin. about illegal nuke sites in Iran was almost completely wrong/false/bull$hit. They inspected them.

    Looks like the security crackdown is “going well”.

    That’s what Deferment Dick will be saying today, wherever he is speaking in a secret location to a “safe” audience.

    Looks like we’re the middle of a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, AND a civil war. And Osama still is running around loose. We’re not even looking for him! Afghanistan is in shambles, and getting worse every day.

    Can someone explain to me again,

    WHAT IN THE HELL ARE WE DOING THERE?

  5. Old Curmudgeon  February 26, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    JimZ, well sir, it’s obvious…we’re fulfilling the prophesies of the apocalypse for which the Righteous One feels personally responsible to “being it on!” Laura must be so proud of him. But, as those who think know, once a religious zealot has made up their mind, forgedaboutit. But, that’s just thos old curmudgeon’s opinion.

  6. Jason Shapiro  February 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    JimZ, terrific posting except that you seem to think logic, rational thinking, and empirically-based factual analysis have something to do with American foreign policy. If, as it appears, our foreign policy rests upon the triumvirate of unimaginable stupidity, arrogance, and greed then your carefully thought out analysis must fail. Fortunately Lewis Carroll has already written “Alice in Wonderland” and we need not look any further for the proper metaphor.

  7. Carl Nemo  February 26, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    Superbly stated JimZ…! “WHAT IN THE HELL ARE WE DOING THERE”…?! Again, it’s about keeping the price of oil high or higher and the care and feeding of the M.I. Complex…nothing more, nothing less…!

  8. Floyd R. Turbo  February 26, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    NO NO NO!!! We are winning the war in Iraq. The fact that the Iraqi VP was nearly killed right in the heart of the Green Zone shows the desperation of the insurgents and how they can freely operate even in the highest security zone…Uh, well, let’s think of another example.

    Well, I can’t think of any, but the insurgents are in their last death throes & Big Dick Cheney Said So!

    Remember, the insurgents hate freedom.

    THEY HATE FREEDOM!!! If we don’t stop falafels from being eaten over in Iraq NOW, then they will be eaten over in the US OF VAY.

  9. Kent Shaw  February 26, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    .

    JimZ wrote: “Can someone explain to me again, WHAT IN THE HELL ARE WE DOING THERE?”

    .

    Well, its obvious to me that “we war profiteers” are still recording enormous profits. All is going well and as intended.

    .

  10. gene  February 26, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    I’m so proud I just want to cry all the time. What wonderfuly intelligent people we now have in the white house. I Get all these (warm fussies) just thinking about it. Bush and Cheney, I just know between the two their is at least 3 working brain cells. And then throw in Rice and my God, it must climb all the way up to (lets see) 4 active brain cells. Time for a beer.

  11. JimZ  February 26, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    gene, sorry…

    If you add Rice, you SUBRACT one brain cell. Or, it makes a foul-tasting paella.

  12. gene  February 27, 2007 at 1:55 am

    OOPs…..your right JimZ, with Rice you don’t add, you subtract. Have to work on my math.. but have no fear, I WILL {God willing} find another active brain cell in that white house bunch. May take awhile so please be patient with me. Time for another beer.

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