Iraq's deputy PM survives assassination bid

2012-12-30 19:36:49 GMT2012-12-31 03:36:49(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak survived an assassination attempt on Sunday during taking part in a protest in province of Anbar, 110 km west of Baghdad, MENA news agency reported citing a statement released al- Mutlak's office.

A number of al-Mutlak's bodyguards were wounded in the attack, the statement said. Protests have intensified since the arrests last week of bodyguards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi.

Opponents accuse Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki of seeking to marginalize Iraq's Sunni political leaders.

Maliki insisted that he did not order last Thursday's arrests and suggested that they were the result of an investigation undertaken by the judiciary.

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