BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb went off in the northern city of Mosul Friday, narrowly missing a member of a Sunni-backed political bloc but killing one of his bodyguards, Iraqi officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Sunni Islamic militants often target lawmakers and government officials because they view them as supporting the Shiite-led government.
Two members of the Sunni-backed bloc, Iraqiya, were killed in Mosul, an insurgent stronghold near the Syrian border, earlier this year.
Mohammed al-Khalidi had just attended a meeting with one of the top leaders of Iraqiya and was traveling in his convoy when the bomb went off, said a spokesman for the bloc, Abdul-Rahman al-Baider.
Two of his bodyguards were injured in the blast and another died after being taken to the hospital, said police and medical officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Earlier this year an Iraqiya lawmaker was killed in Mosul, while a woman running for parliament on the coalition's ticket was killed before the election.
Al-Baider complained that Iraqiya members do not have enough guards to protect them.
"The reason Iraqiya lawmakers and members are targeted is because they represent a national project toward change and there are some sides which don't like this project," he said.
Iraqiya, which consists of both Sunnis and Shiites, won 91 seats in the March 7 election compared to 89 for their closest competitor, the State of Law bloc led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
But they were never able to find the necessary majority needed to form the government. Last week the bloc decided to align themselves with al-Maliki's bloc, assuring him of a second term.