Iraq Cabinet Minister Escapes Unharmed From Baghdad Car Bombing

Iraqi Construction and Housing Minister Mohammad Saheb al-Darraji escaped unharmed when a car bomb exploded near his convoy in Baghdad today, injuring six of his bodyguards, the ministry said.

Two vehicles from the minister’s convoy were burned by the explosion in the western part of the Iraqi capital, the ministry said in an emailed statement.

The violence adds to concern that the U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of last year has left a security vacuum in Iraq as it seeks investment and expertise to develop the world’s fifth-largest crude oil reserves. Bombings have surged amid renewed political disputes, mostly between Shiite Muslim Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition and opponents from the Sunni Muslim-backed Iraqiya alliance.

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