Iraqi deputy prime minister leaves hospital

Other News Materials 4 April 2007 11:04 (UTC +04:00)

(AP) - Iraq's Sunni deputy prime minister was discharged Tuesday from a hospital in Jordan where he was treated after an assassination attempt last month by a group linked to al-Qaida, the Iraqi ambassador said.

Ten days ago, a suicide bomber detonated himself in a small mosque attached to Salam al-Zubaie's home in Baghdad, killing nine people and seriously wounding the deputy prime minister, who is the most senior Sunni official in Iraq's Shiite-led government.

Al-Zubaie is in "good health, completely recovered, but he will stay in Amman for a few more days," Ambassador Saad al-Hayyani told The Associated Press.

Al-Zubaie told Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television on Tuesday that his attackers seek to keep Iraq in a "whirlpool of violence" but that Baghdad's leadership will "confront these dirty terrorism groups that want chaos and sedition to spread among Iraqis."

The Sunni deputy prime minister said in the interview - his first since the assassination attempt - that U.S. troops should not pull out of Iraq in this "catastrophic situation" because it would create an opportunity for those who want to plunge Iraq into more bloodshed.

Al-Zubaie was treated in a Baghdad hospital and was flown to Amman last Wednesday, where he was admitted to the King Hussein Medical Center, a military hospital in the suburbs of the Jordanian capital. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was treated at the same hospital for 17 days after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration caused by lung and sinus infections.

Al-Zubaie underwent medical tests and was treated for wounds to his chest, abdomen and shoulder caused by shrapnel and burns, al-Hayyani said.

The Islamic State in Iraq, a network of terror groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack on al-Zubaie. The Iraqi military said an al-Qaida fighter infiltrated al-Zubaie's security detail.