Smoke, explosion cancels advance by suicide bomber on Iraq’s PM al-Abadi

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday.

A man driving a pickup truck filled with explosives went after al-Abadi, the Iraqi premier, as he was leaving Baghdad’s Shorja marketplace, the Associated Press reported.

An aide who was nearby tried to blow up the vehicle but was thwarted by security.

The driver detonated the explosives early when a vehicle blocked his path and broke through the barrier.

“I didn’t know what it was. It was some kind of explosion … then a blue sheet was pulled up and then later a ladder was brought in and people were preparing to save someone,” al-Abadi said.

Al-Abadi was driving on a new highway linking eastern and western Iraq.

His security forces arrived at the scene within minutes and fired at the truck, preventing the vehicle from reaching the prime minister.

The bombs failed to cause any deaths and no injuries.

Iraqiya TV reported that two people were killed, including the attackers, who later died from their wounds.

According to the same TV report, five of the terrorists were wearing suicide vests, but detonated the explosives before reaching their target.

Al-Abadi, an Iranian-trained Shiite cleric, has served as prime minister since 2014.

Reports claimed at the time that the United States was pushing al-Abadi to step down.

Fox News reported in 2016 that the Sunni militant group ISIS had ordered all Sunni leaders to accept death by “suicide bombing and by poisoned tea,” without giving a specific time frame.

This year, the militant group attacked Kurdish security forces, who are making a push to separate from Iraq, leaving 155 dead.

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