Ex-Iraqi minister escapes roadside bomb attack in Baghdad

Iraq's former electricity minister escaped an assassination attempt in Baghdad on Monday but the roadside bomb that targeted his convoy wounded two bodyguards, police and his office said.

The bomb exploded at 8:50 a.m. as the three-car convoy of Ayham al-Samarie passed through Baghdad's western Mansour district, said police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq.

The vehicle carrying al-Samarie, a dual Iraq-U.S. citizen and Sunni Arab political figure, was not hit by the blast, but another car was damaged and two of his bodyguards were wounded, said Mohammed al-Jibouri, an official at the ex-minister's office.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

Al-Samarie was a member of the transitional government established after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

The former minister is believed to have had contacts with various Sunni Arab insurgents and tried to persuade them to put down their weapons and join the political process, reports the AP.

I.L.