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Bomb Strikes Iraqi Finance Minister Convoy

Rafia al-Issawi was not hurt in the attack.
Iraqi police have said a bomb exploded next to a convoy carrying Iraq's finance minister.

The minister, Rafia al-Issawi, has been a central figure in weeks of protests by minority Sunnis against the Shi'ite-dominated government.

Police said al-Issawi was not hurt in the blast but several vehicles carrying his staff were damaged.

Al-Issawi, one of the senior Sunni officials in the government, was heading to Fallujah, in Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, to meet with tribal leaders.

The arrest of nine of his bodyguards at a demonstration on December 20 sparked a wave of protests across Anbar.

The attack on al-Issawi could trigger another round of protests.

The bomb attack comes after some weeks of antigovernment protests by Iraqi Sunnis who charge that the government is discriminating against them.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP