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Iraqi Oil Official Wounded In Bomb Attack

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- A bomb blast has wounded one of Iraq's deputy oil ministers close to his home in Baghdad, the Oil Ministry said in a statement.

Sahib Salman Qutub was slightly wounded in the blast, which struck his convoy as he was leaving his home in the Utaifiya neighborhood of west-central Baghdad, the ministry confirmed.

The statement added that he had been taken to hospital and had later left after receiving treatment. One of Qutub's bodyguards was seriously wounded, however.

"This failed attempt of the terrorists and outlaws will not stop our staff in the oil sector from faithfully carrying out their duties and building Iraq's economy," the statement said.

Violence has dropped sharply in Iraq, reaching its lowest level last month since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, but attacks still occur on a daily basis.

Despite heavy security, government officials are still targeted. Last month, a Baghdad bomb killed Saleh al-Ugaili, a parliamentarian loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.