BAGHDAD – The governor of Iraq's largest Sunni province escaped an assassination attempt Monday on a highway in a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad.
Iraqi police say the governor of Anbar province, Qasim al-Fahadawi, escaped unhurt after a roadside bomb hit his motorcade as it headed to Baghdad. Al-Fahadawi, a former businessman who worked with the U.S. military for years to revitalize the sprawling desert province, has been a frequent target for insurgents. He lost a leg in a 2009 bombing at his office in the city of Ramadi.
The Monday attack came as Anbar officials consider joining other provinces to break off from the Shiite-led government in Baghdad and create an semi-autonomous Sunni region in Iraq. The move is gaining strength as the year-end deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops approaches.
A provincial media official said three bodyguards were wounded in the attack.
Hours later, police said insurgents attacked a security checkpoint in the Anbar city of Fallujah, killing two policemen and wounding three others. The casualties were confirmed by a medic at Fallujah hospital.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.
Fallujah is located 40 miles west of Baghdad and saw some of the worst fighting between the Sunni insurgency and U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion.
Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq from just a few years ago when the country teetered on the brink of civil way but deadly bombings and shootings still happen nearly every day.