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Iraqi VP Abdel-Mahdi Survives Blast

  • VOA News

Iraqi officials say Shi'ite vice president Adel Abdel-Mahdi has escaped an apparent assassination attempt after a bomb exploded inside a government building in Baghdad.

The blast at the Public Works Ministry killed at least six people, but the vice president and Iraq's public works minister Riyad Gharib suffered only minor bruises.

In the western city of Ramadi, Iraqi officials say a suicide car bomber targeting a police post killed at least 13 people.

In other developments, the US military says coalition forces found a large number of sophisticated roadside bombs north of Baghdad Saturday. Military officials say they believe the devices came from Iran.

Also, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the cabinet has endorsed a draft law crucial to regulating how the country's oil wealth will be shared by its different groups. The draft now goes to parliament for approval. Mr. Maliki said the law would benefit all of Iraq's ethnic and sectarian groups.

The United States has been pressing for an oil law to help settle a potentially explosive dispute among Iraq's different communities. Most of the oil wealth is in the mainly Shi'ite south, and the predominantly Kurdish north.

White House spokesman Tony Snow hailed the Iraqi cabinet's approval of the draft as "good news."

In the latest US casualty report from Iraq, the US military says a Marine was killed Monday during combat operations in al-Anbar province, the Sunni insurgent stronghold west of BAghdad.

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