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Iraqi Governor Survives Attack, Curfew Imposed

Iraqi soldiers in Diyala during the recent operation
BAGHDAD -- Iraqi authorities have imposed a curfew on the capital of restive Diyala Governorate after the governor survived a suicide bomb attack on his convoy.

Two people died and seven were wounded in the attack, when the bomber detonated an explosive vest near the convoy of Diyala Governor Ra'd Rashid al-Tamimi in the provincial capital Ba'qubah, 65 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Rashid was unharmed.

Al-Iraqiyah state television said the curfew had been imposed on the center of the city from noon on August 12 until the next morning.

The province has been the scene of a major two-week-old crackdown by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces against Sunni Arab Al-Qaeda militants, who frequently employ suicide bombing as a tactic.

As violence in Iraq has dropped to levels not seen since 2004, the ethnically mixed province is considered one of the last remaining sanctuaries Al-Qaeda.

Many recent attacks in the province have been carried out by female suicide bombers, a tactic used increasingly by Al-Qaeda this year. It was not immediately clear whether the latest attacker was male or female.

Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. soldiers and helicopters, launched a crackdown late last month in Diyala, searching homes and detaining scores of people. The Iraqi government said on August 11 it was calling a pause for a few days in the operation to allow militants to surrender.