Baghdad bomb targets university dean

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A bomb blast struck the convoy of a university dean, killing four people and wounding 10 others in Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.

Ziyad al-Ani, also a member of the Islamic Party — the largest Sunni Arab faction in parliament — was unharmed by the explosion which occurred as he left the Islamic University in north Baghdad’s Adhamiya district.

A driver in the convoy was killed, Baghdad security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi said, adding that he thought the bomb was attached to a vehicle in the convoy. Other police sources said the bomb was planted in a parked car nearby.

A university professor in the convoy was among the wounded, police sources said.

In a separate attack, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed five policemen and wounded three in Dour, near the city of Tikrit, about 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, police Captain Anwar Mohammed told Reuters.

The attacks underscored the continuing threat posed by militant groups even as overall violence across Iraq falls.

U.S. officials have said they expect attacks to increase ahead of provincial polls on January 31, although a predicted surge in political assassinations has not happened.

Academics, alongside doctors, journalists and politicians, are favorite targets of militants, sometimes because of their affiliation to religious sects or political parties.

Last month, gunmen seriously wounded Muzahim al-Khayat, dean of Mosul University’s College of Medicine in a drive-by shooting in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

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