At least 5 killed by bomb targeting Iraqi adviser

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BAGHDAD, Nov 18 (Reuters) At least five people were killed today when a car bomb targeting a Finance Ministry adviser exploded in central Baghdad, Iraqi police said.

Salman al-Mugotar, the ministry adviser, was unharmed by the blast, which occurred in al-Hurriya Square in the Karrada district, a ministry source said.

At least five people were killed and at least nine were wounded, including two of Mugotar's security guards, a police source said.

A Reuters witness saw two burned corpses in the back of a police pick-up near the site of the explosion.

The attack took place on a day already marked by at least three other bomb explosions in Baghdad.

Violence has declined significantly in recent weeks, but US and Iraqi officials say insurgent and sectarian strife could still flare up again.

REUTERS PY RN2106

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