Bomb targets Iraqi official

BAGHDAD, Iraq – A suicide bomber rammed his car into a convoy carrying the Iraqi justice minister to work Saturday in Baghdad. The official was not hurt, but five of his bodyguards were killed.

A U.S. soldier and at least five other Iraqis, including a police chief, were also killed in violence throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the new U.S. ambassador, John Negroponte, disputed suggestions that a proposed amnesty for Iraqis who have opposed the U.S. occupation could include those who have killed U.S. soldiers. Negroponte said he supported the idea of an amnesty but was “not aware there is any provision for any amnesty for those who killed U.S. soldiers.”

“There may have been at one point some language that was ambiguous and led to the interpretation that somehow people would be given amnesty who assaulted U.S. troops,” he said. “My understanding is that ambiguity is no longer there.”

Al-Qaida-linked militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the Baghdad car bombing as well as another suicide bombing earlier in the day.

Iraqi officials had expressed concern that a wave of violence might occur Saturday, the anniversary of a coup that brought the Baath Party to power in 1968. Saddam Hussein, who was vice president at the time, formally became president in 1979.

The attack against the justice minister, Malek Dohan Hassan, came shortly after he left his house in a suburb of Baghdad. Witnesses said a car raced into the convoy of vehicles accompanying Hassan, striking a Toyota sport utility vehicle and killing the five bodyguards.

In the earlier suicide attack, Iraqi troops stopped a car at a checkpoint in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, after becoming suspicious and shot at the driver, who set off the blast 15 yards from the building. Two people were killed and 47 wounded, hospital officials said.

The U.S. soldier who was killed Saturday died when a roadside bomb exploded under a military convoy as it traveled near the town of Baiji, north of Baghdad.

In Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad, the chief of police was slain in an ambush. In Samarra, north of the capital, gunmen killed the local head of the Iraqi National Party and his father, according to local reports.

The employer of an Egyptian man, Alsayeid Mohammed Alsayeid Algarabawi, held hostage by insurgents told Al-Jazeera television that he would be freed today, days after the company said it had agreed to an insurgent demand to leave Iraq.

Associated Press

Abdul Sattar Ahmed, a member of the Iraqi National Guard, comforts friend Adil Hashim, who was wounded by a car bomb explosion Saturday.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Mt. Pilchuck covered in snow is barely visible through the clouds as the sun breaks through illuminating raindrops as they fall off of the Mountain Loop Highway on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024 in Granite Falls, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Active’ weather brings rain, snow, hail, fresh powder to Snohomish County

Up to an inch of snow could accumulate in the lowlands. Three inches of rain could fall in Darrington. And Stevens Pass is “doing quite well.”

Joanne Fisher, right, a meat wrapper with the Marysville Albertsons, hands a leaflet to a shopper during an informational campaign on  Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. Fisher was one of about a dozen grocery store workers handing out leaflets to shoppers about the proposed merger between Albertsons and Kroger. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger, Albertsons

Grocery workers in Snohomish County and elsewhere have argued the merger would stymie competition and hurt workers.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee during its meeting on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, where the panel indicated it would not move ahead with legislation to cap residential rent increases at 7%. The move effectively killed the bill for the 2024 legislative session. (Bill Lucia/Washington State Standard)
Plan for 7% statewide cap on rent increases fails in Olympia

State Sen. June Robinson, D-Everett, told reporters the bill did not have enough support to move it forward.

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Shoppers cross Alderwood Mall Parkway after leaving the mall and walking through its parking lot on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood police seek 3 suspects after pursuit, brief shootout

The driver of a stolen car intentionally hit a teen boy Sunday, officers said. Police pursued the suspects near I-5.

Starbucks employee Zach Gabelein outside of the Mill Creek location where he works on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘We cannot keep up’: Mill Creek Starbucks workers file for unionization

The cafe’s crew joins the ranks of the 624 stores nationwide, including two other locations in Snohomish County.

The Nimbus Apartments are pictured on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County has the highest rent in the state. Could this bill help?

In one year, rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County went up 20%. A bill seeks to cap any increases at 7%.

The Westwood Rainier is one of the seven ships in the Westwood line. The ships serve ports in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast Asia. (Photo provided by Swire Shipping)
Westwood Shipping Lines, an Everett mainstay, has new name

The four green-hulled Westwood vessels will keep their names, but the ships will display the Swire Shipping flag.

A Snohomish County no trespassing sign hangs on a fence surrounding the Days Inn on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Meth cleanup at Edmonds motel-shelter made matters worse, report says

Contamination has persisted at two motels Snohomish County bought to turn into shelters in 2022. In January, the county cut ties with two cleanup agencies.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.