Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
BASRA, Iraq, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The police chief of Iraq's second largest city of Basra escaped unhurt an overnight roadside bomb attack on his convoy which led to the killing of his three bodyguards, a local police source said on Thursday.
"Maj. Gen. Abdul Jalil Khalaf survived a roadside bomb attack on his convoy after midnight in the Jubaila area, 5 km north of Basra," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Three of Khalaf's bodyguards were killed by the attack which destroyed one of the convoy's vehicles, the source said.
Brigadier Eidaan Muttar, deputy of Khalaf, was also escaped unhurt another roadside bomb attack targeting his car in central Basra on Wednesday night, a source from the city operations office told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The attacks came as fierce clashes raged between Shiite militias and U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces in the country's southern oil hub of Basra, 550 km south of Baghdad.
Iraqi security forces launched a massive offensive, dubbed "Operation Cavalry Assault," aimed at restoring order in the city where instability was spreading.