Iraq’s PM survives ‘assassination attempt’

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi reportedly escapes an assassination attempt in Baghdad’s green zone early on Sunday. A few of his bodyguards were injured in the attack.

A drone laden with explosives targeted the residence of al-Kadhimi in Baghdad early on Sunday in what the Iraqi military called an attempted assassination, but announced Kadhimi escaped unhurt.

The attack, which security sources stated injured several members of Kadhimi’s personal protection detail, came after protests in the Iraqi capital over the result of a general election last month turned violent. Demonstrations turned violent on Friday when protesters pelted police with stones near the Green Zone, injuring several officers. The police responded with tear gas and live gunfire, killing at least one demonstrator, according to security and hospital sources in Baghdad.

The United States Department of State condemned the attack and offered assistance with the investigation.

“This apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn, was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state,” spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, adding, “We are in close touch with the Iraqi security forces charged with upholding Iraq’s sovereignty and independence and have offered our assistance as they investigate this attack.”

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack on Kadhimi’s residence in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

A statement from the Iraqi military said that the attack targeted Kadhimi’s residence and that he was in “good health”. It provided no further detail.

Kadhimi’s official Twitter account said the prime minister was safe and called for calm.

Two government officials added Kadhimi’s residence had been hit by at least one explosion and confirmed to Reuters that the prime minister was safe.

Security sources told Reuters that six members of Kadhimi’s personal protection force stationed outside his residence had been injured.

Western diplomats based nearby in the Green Zone stated they heard explosions and gunfire in the area.

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