BAGHDAD (AP) – A car packed with explosives blew up near a passing police patrol Sunday in western Iraq, killing at least two people but missing the security chief who was the apparent target, a police official said.
The blast in Fallujah killed at least two guards accompanying police Col. Saad al-Shimari, who was not harmed. At least seven people were injured, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.
Al-Shimari heads police operations in the Karmah area, which includes southern districts of Fallujah, a former insurgent stronghold about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad. He has survived several previous assassination attempts.
In central Iraq, police investigating last week’s deadly bombings in Baghdad detained a leading member of Iraq’s largest Sunni political party, according to an official for the Salahuddin provincial council and a member of the local Iraqi Islamic Party branch. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make public comments. They said Abdul Jabbar Shalash, head of Salahuddin’s branch of the Iraqi Islamic party, was in custody after authorities came to his home in Beiji, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Mosul. There was no immediate word on possible charges or why authorities were holding Shalash.
The series of bombings last Tuesday killed at 127 people and brought pressure on the Shiite-led government to explain lapses in Iraqi security.
Near the northern city of Mosul, a car bomb exploded next to a crowd of Iraqi army recruits, killing one person and injuring 19, said a Mosul police official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. The attack occurred about three miles (seven kilometers) east of the city, which is considered the last major urban base for Sunni insurgents.