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Iraqi Cabinet Minister Escapes Bombing but 3 Guards Killed


Iraqi officials say the minister of industry escaped unharmed in a roadside bombing - but the blast killed three of his bodyguards.

The minister's convoy was hit as it traveled near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, the U.S. military is releasing more than 400 Iraqi detainees including five women prisoners Thursday and Friday. A military statement says a review of their cases determined there was no reason to keep holding them.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have stressed the move has nothing to do with American journalist Jill Carroll, who was kidnapped earlier this month.

Her kidnappers threatened to kill her by last Friday unless all Iraqi women detainees were released. The deadline passed with no word on her fate.

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