Iraqi prime minister survives assassination attempt

Fiercely anti-American Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi survived an assassination attempt early Friday in Baghdad, Iraqi military officials said.

Abadi was riding a motorcycle in a heavily guarded district of the Iraqi capital when four men on foot fired at his motorcade. The prime minister and his entourage were able to return safely to their residence without injury.

The attack, which was carried out by a group of ISIS gunmen, left one of the assailants seriously wounded, according to Iraqi military officials. The prime minister’s security detail apparently thwarted the attack by firing back at the gunmen in a firefight.

The bombing appeared to be part of a coordinated ISIS propaganda campaign. The militant group has said it plans a series of attacks in Iraq during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins next month.

Abadi, who rose to power in 2014 and has been subject to several assassination attempts in the past, was making a late-night phone call to Iraqi President Barham Salih when the attack took place, according to the Iraqi military.

“Daesh is targeting the heroes of the Iraqi people to reduce achievements and decrease the belief of the people of Iraq in the political system that brings security and prosperity,” Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said in a statement, using an alternative name for ISIS.

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