Middle East & Africa
The Iraqi Scene
Iraqi Minister Survives Assassination
Seven Killed, 50 Wounded in Baghdad Explosions
By Yasser AbuMoailek
Middle East Correspondent
Gaza City, July 17, 2004 — The Iraqi Justice Minister, Malek Dohan, survived an attempt on his life, as a car bomb exploded near his convey in the city of Baghdad early this morning. Dohan was reportedly unhurt, but five of his bodyguards and two pedestrians were killed, while almost six others were wounded. According to official police sources, a car bomb exploded near the house of the Justice Minister twenty minutes before eight in the morning, as his convoy was heading to the Minsitry. Dohan survived the explosion, according to the same sources. "A car was parking on the opposite direction of the road, when the driver, God curse him, saw us and exploded himself," Loay Hassan, one of the Justice Minister's security details, said. Sources also added that the minister's nephew died in the attack. Meanwhile, another car bomb rocked an Iraqi National Guard Headquarters at the same time as the first explosion occurred, resulting in the death of two and the injury of 47 persons, mostly Iraqis.
|A vehicle belonging to a convoy for the Iraqi Minister of Justice, Malek Dohan al-Hassan, burns following an attack in Baghdad. Hasan, 83, emerged unscathed from the attack but three of his guards, including a nephew, were killed.|
Iraqi security sources said the explosion occurred at the area of Al Mahmoudiya, 20 kilometers south of Baghdad, and that almost half of the wounded were member of the Iraqi National Guard. The sources believed the second explosion was probably a suicide attack. Eyewitnesses said that a car approached a security post near the headquarters, and that the Iraqi guards opened fire at the approaching car, followed by a huge explosion when the car crashed into the security post. One of the cars of the Iraqi minister's convoy was completely destroyed. Abdel Nasser Mohammed, an Iraqi security guard, said that four were killed in the explosion; two of them in the car that exploded. Five other cars scattered on both sides of the road, some party damaged or burned, as police officers and emergency workers were busy collecting human remains from the road. Khaled Waleed, who was wounded in the explosion, said from his bed in the hospital, "we were painting near the ministry when an explosion suddenly occurred. The glass shattered and flew everywhere, and some of it injured me." On the other hand, Iraqi Justice Ministry's spokeswoman, Ahlam Al Hamami, reaffirmed that minister Dohan survived the attack unhurt, and that he had resumed his duties in the ministry as normal. Malek Dohan Al-Hassan, 84, has assumed the position of Minister of Culture and Information in Iraq in 1967. He is a judge and a professor at the College of Law at Baghdad University, and was elected twice for the parliamentary membership during the monarchy Iraq (1921-1958). He also headed the Iraqi Bar Association, and was appointed head of the special tasks committee for compensating the victims of the previous Iraqi regime.
|Malek Dohan Al Hassan,|
Iraqi Justice Minister
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Yasser AbuMoailek, a journalist and feature writer working for the International Press Center in Gaza Strip. He contributes to many circulations inlcuding the Seoul Times, as well as monitoring the situation in the Middle East, especially the Palestinian territories.