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Iraqi Minister Survives Deadly Attack

Prisoners from the Abu Ghurayb detention center released in September 2005 (RFE/RL) 26 January 2006 -- Officials say a roadside bomb today hit the convoy of Iraqi Industry Minister Osama Abdul Aziz al-Najafi.

The minister was unharmed but three of his bodyguards were killed.

The convoy was traveling to the northern city of Mosul when it was attacked near the town of Balad.

Also today, security sources said a roadside bomb killed five Iraqi soldiers on the main road linking Baghdad and Tikrit overnight.

Separately, the U.S. military said it has released 419 detainees in Iraq, including five women.

But they insist the move was unrelated to the case of U.S. journalist Jill Carroll who is being held hostage in Iraq.

The kidnappers have said the release of all Iraqi women detainees was a condition for Carroll's release. She was kidnapped in Baghdad on 7 January.

(Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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