MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) – Rebels launched assassination bids in the northern city of Mosul against an Iraqi commando chief and the local deputy governor, leaving one bodyguard and four attackers dead.
Major General Rashid Flaih, the head of a 500-strong commando force sent from Baghdad to help a US-led effort to restore order in the city, survived an attack by insurgents, US military officials said Wednesday.
He was heading to the provincial government building when his convoy came under fire from gunmen in a vehicle stationed in a side street, the sources said.
US forces returned fire and killed all four attackers.
An AFP reporter embedded with US troops in Mosul saw the rebels’ black Mercedes riddled with bullets, its seats covered in blood.
The deputy governor of the Nineveh province which includes Mosul also escaped an assassination bid on Wednesday.
“Unknown attackers opened fire around 1:00 pm (1000 GMT) against my convoy as I was heading to the governorate” headquartered in Mosul, Khosru Kuran said, adding that one of his bodyguards was killed.
Kuran, a Kurd, has already survived several assassination attempts. Governor Dureid Kashmula has also been targeted several times in recent months after his predecessor was murdered in July.
Mosul has been the scene of violent clashes over the past 10 days.
US troops backed by Iraqi government forces moved in on the country’s third largest city after rebels launched a massive offensive against the provincial government building and several police stations.