Anti-al-Qaida leader escapes assassination in Iraq

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BAGHDAD — A prominent leader of a militia opposed to al-Qaida escaped an assassination attempt today that killed six of his body guards and one civilian and wounded eight people, authorities said.

Seven more people were killed and 15 wounded in separate violence in Baghdad and another Iraqi city as the country reels from waves of sectarian attacks.

Two suicide bombers attacked the motorcade of Wisam al-Hardan near his house in Baghdad’s western Harthiyah neighborhood, but the Sunni tribal sheik was not hurt, said Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan.

Al-Hardan was recently appointed by the Iraqi prime minister to lead the Sunni militia known as Sahwa, which joined U.S. troops in the war against al-Qaida at the height of Iraq war.

Ever since, it has been a target for Sunni insurgents who consider them traitors.

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