An assailant believed to be a leftist extremist fired a barrage of bullets at a key Finance Ministry official near his home Tuesday, striking the man's car but missing him, authorities said.

The attack on Hans Tietmeyer appeared an attempt by militants to disrupt preparations for the annual joint meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, said Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg.Earlier Tuesday, about 30 masked youths stormed a podium during an international finance talk in Hamburg and beat up West Germany's IMF executive director, a legislator and a police officer. The youths escaped.