Roadside bombing targets Iraq's acting defense minister who escapes unharmed; 2 guards wounded

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Officials say a roadside bombing has targeted Iraq's acting defense minister who was unharmed in the explosion, which wounded two of his guards.

A police officer says the minister, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, was travelling in a six-vehicle convoy when the bombing took place on Tuesday morning outside the former insurgent stronghold city of Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad.

The police officer described the bombing as an assassination attempt.

A medical official confirmed the figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release information.

Officials at the Defense Ministry were not immediately available to comment.

The attack came as security forces are carrying out a massive military operation in Iraq's western desert, hunting for al-Qaida and militant hideouts near the border with Syria.