Heads of army and police in Basra escape bomb attack

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BASRA, Iraq, Nov 3 (Reuters) A roadside bomb blast targeted a convoy carrying the heads of the Iraqi army and police in southern Iraq today, but both men were unhurt, the police chief told Reuters.

Major-General Abdul-Jelil Khalaf said he and southern Iraq military chief General Mohan al-Firaiji had been in a convoy of vehicles in Basra when the blast struck. Two guards in the convoy were wounded.

Firaiji and Khalaf were sent to Basra in June charged with improving security, ahead of the expected handover of Basra province to Iraqi security control from the British in December. There have been a number of previous attempts on their lives.

The two men are seen by British forces as key to stabilising the volatile region and reining in militias who are vying for control of Basra, Iraq's southern oil hub.

REUTERS SKB KN1516

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