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Posted: 8/24/2004 5:15:00 PM EDT
Does anyone know what company these guys worked for?

5 Bodyguards Die in Attacks in Baghdad

Published: August 25, 2004

AGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 24 - Within an hour Tuesday morning in two Baghdad neighborhoods, two ministers of the interim Iraqi government were the targets of bombings that killed at least five bodyguards and wounded several bystanders.

The officials, the education and environment ministers, were not harmed in the attacks, which were a stark reminder of the dangers facing officials of the American-backed government.

In the first attack, a suicide bomber in an explosives-packed car slammed into the convoy of the environment minister, Mishkat al-Moumin, as it left a fortified compound for ministerial residences in the southern neighborhood of Qadisiya. In addition to the driver of the car, the explosion killed four bodyguards and wounded at least two bystanders, officials said.

The attack occurred near the entrance to Al Huriya television, a Kurdish-language network, and a well-known Iraqi actress, Hind Taleb, was one of those wounded, The Associated Press reported.

Soon after, a roadside bomb exploded in the western district of Al Khudra as the convoy of the education minister, Sami Mudhafar, passed. One bodyguard was killed and two others were wounded, but the minister was not in any of the vehicles at the time of the attack.

It was not clear if the attacks had any link to the violent standoff that continued in Najaf, where American forces were battling militiamen loyal to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr. In a statement posted on an Islamic Web site, a group linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a militant who is accused of being an organizer for Al Qaeda and who is believed to be hiding in Iraq, took credit for the car bomb attack on the environment minister, The A .P. said. The authenticity of the claim could not be confirmed.

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