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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 13:45 GMT
Iraq deputy PM injured in blast
Salam Zaubai
Mr Zaubai belongs to the main Sunni political bloc
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zaubai has been injured in a double bombing in Baghdad in which nine people were killed, Iraqi police have said.

Police said a suicide bomber blew himself up and a car bomb exploded as Mr Zaubai was leaving a mosque close to his home in the Iraqi capital.

He is reported to be undergoing surgery to remove shrapnel at a US military hospital in the Green Zone.

Mr Zaubai, a prominent Sunni, is one of Iraq's two deputy prime ministers.

Two of the dead were Mr Zaubai's bodyguards and 15 people were injured, including the deputy prime minister and his brother, who is said to be badly hurt.

Mr Zaubai is a member of the Accordance Front, the main Sunni bloc in the Shia-led national unity government.

Vehicle ban

His home is close to the international or Green Zone in the centre of Baghdad, where all diplomats and much of the US military are based.

The attack happened despite a weekly vehicle ban on Fridays, designed to prevent suicide car bombings, and will be an embarrassment for the Iraqi authorities, says the BBC's Ben Brown in Baghdad.

The latest violence comes a day after a blast rocked the Green Zone as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was giving a news conference there with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.

Mr Maliki visited Mr Zaubai in hospital hours after Friday's attack, state television reported.

Iraq's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, meanwhile has said Iraq's neighbours have a major role to play in helping to stabilise the country.

Mr Zebari told the BBC that support from neighbouring countries was essential to stop intervention from outside Iraq, including preventing militants and weapons from entering the country.




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Library footage of Salam Zaubai





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