World News

Suicide car bomber hits Iraq convoy, 9 killed

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber struck the convoy of Iraq’s minister of labour on Thursday, killing nine people and wounding 20, police said.

A spokesman for the ministry said the minister, Mahmoud al-Sheikh Radhi, was unhurt. Three of his bodyguards were among the dead.

A Reuters television cameraman in the vicinity filmed the blast but an Iraqi soldier confiscated his videotape.

The cameraman, about 150 metres (yards) away at the time of the explosion, saw a car slam into a convoy of six or seven four-wheel-drive vehicles and explode in a ball of flame near Tahrir square in central Baghdad.

Police and bodyguards in the convoy opened fire after the blast. Several vehicles crashed and others sped away.

Violence across Iraq has fallen over the past year to four-year lows, but militants are still able to carry out frequent car bomb and suicide bomb attacks. Suicide bombings are a signature tactic of al Qaeda Sunni Islamist militants.