Baghdad attack: Iraqi PM survives assassination attempt

Al Jazeera

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi survived an assassination attempt in Baghdad on Tuesday, the country’s interior ministry said.

Abadi, 43, was driving to his offices in the heavily fortified Green Zone shortly after midnight when he was sprayed with bullets, a spokeswoman said.

Seven people were injured, while another two were wounded when at least two assailants opened fire on his vehicle as it passed in a busy street.

“The prime minister is in good health and this incident won’t affect his plans to remain in power,” the spokeswoman said.

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No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Iraqi leaders have blamed the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group for a string of recent bombings in the capital.

Several witnesses told AFP news agency that six people had been wounded in the shooting.

Abadi’s convoy was protected by Iraqi security forces who fired several warning shots at the fleeing assailants.

Suicide bombings have been an almost daily occurrence in Iraq since the beginning of the year, although such bombings are rarer in the capital than in the rest of the country.

Since taking office in 2014, Abadi has led the fight against ISIL in western and northern Iraq. The militant group has steadily lost territory, but analysts say it could still carry out lethal attacks.

Iraqi officials have warned that many Sunni insurgents are taking advantage of a political vacuum and increasing insecurity to revive the more extremist militant groups of the past.

Abadi was elected to a second term in a parliamentary vote in 2014, but the Shi’ite prime minister’s main rivals have already formed a coalition to challenge him for the post.

Date created : 2016-02-25

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