The head of one of the two political factions running the Kurdish area in northern Iraq survived an assassination attempt. Gunmen fired on the home of Barham Saleh, leaving five of Saleh's bodyguards and two of the attackers dead. The 20 or so million Kurds in the region have long wanted their own nation, but have been hampered by feuds and factionalism among Kurds. The Iraqi Kurds are split into two major factions and many smaller ones. The recent attack is thought to be influenced by a small radical Islamic faction that considers itself at war with the larger factions that accept support from the United States. .