BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Shiite legislator escaped an assassination attempt Sunday when a roadside bomb missed his convoy in downtown Baghdad — a day after a female Sunni legislator was kidnapped by gunmen from her car.
Iyad Jamal al-Din, a cleric from the secular Allawi List bloc in parliament, said the explosion just missed his convoy as he was leaving his house in Karradah to attend a legislative session.
Three civilians were wounded in the attack, police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
The attack followed the kidnapping of lawmaker Tayseer al-Mashhadani and seven of her bodyguards at a checkpoint in a Shiite area of the capital on Saturday. Officials said she was traveling from her home in nearby Diyala province, a hotbed of sectarian violence, to attend Sunday's legislative session in Baghdad. One of her bodyguards escaped.
The largest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament will stop attending legislative meetings until al-Mashhadani is released, the head of the group said Sunday.
Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front, called other members of parliament to do the same.
"We in the Iraqi Accordance Front have decided to suspend our participation in parliament meetings until our sister is released," al-Dulaimi said, putting the blame for her kidnapping on security officials because they are responsible for the safety of Iraqis.
Earlier, all members of the bloc walked out of Sunday's parliament meeting.
The Front holds 44 seats in the 275-member assembly and is part of the national unity government.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad condemned the kidnapping and called for the "immediate, safe release" of the politician and her staff.
"We note that Ms. Mashhadani is an elected representative of the people of Iraq and that this act is repugnant to all who believe in the right of Iraqis to participate in their country's democracy," the embassy said in a statement issued late Saturday.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed Col. Muthanna Faeq Abdul-Razzaq, the assistant commander of the Iraqi army's seventh division, and wounded his driver, police said.
A gunfight also erupted between gunmen and police in the insurgent stronghold of Dora in southern Baghdad, wounding one policeman and a 7-year-old child.