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Iraqi PM Confirms Assassination Attempt


Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq, December 3, 2011.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq, December 3, 2011.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has confirmed that a car bomb explosion inside of Baghdad's fortified Green Zone last Monday was an assassination attempt against him.

In a Saturday interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Maliki said preliminary information indicated the blast was supposed to take place as he entered parliament.

Iraqi security officials said Friday the bomber intended to drive his vehicle filled with explosives to a parking lot near the parliament building and detonate the explosives when Mr. Maliki arrived.

However, officials at a checkpoint turned back the driver because he did not have proper credentials. He then detonated explosives, killing at least one person and wounding several others.

The blast took place at a time of heightened concern about Baghdad's ability to handle security after U.S. forces withdraw at the end of the month. Meanwhile, some of the last troops to leave Iraq are back on U.S. soil. On Saturday, loved ones greeted the soldiers as they returned to Fort Hood, Texas.

In violence Saturday, three people were killed in two separate incidents in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Two people were shot dead when unidentified gunmen broke into their house in southern Mosul, while the third person died in the western part of the city.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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