Iraqi PM Mustafa survives assassination bid - GulfToday

Iraqi PM Mustafa survives assassination bid


Mustafa Al Kadhimi addresses the nation following a drone strike that targeted his residence in Baghdad. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with explosives drones that targeted his residence early on Sunday and officials said he was unharmed.

The US State Department condemned the attack and offered assistance with the investigation.


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"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. "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."

A handout picture shows damage to the residence of Prime Minister following a drone attack in Baghdad. AFP

The attack was a major escalation amid tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month's parliamentary election results.

A spokesman for the commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces said the security situation was stable inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, after the drone attack.

Two Iraqi officials told the media that seven of Al Kadhimi's security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones which occurred in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone area. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

"I am fine and among my people. Thank God," the prime minister tweeted shortly after the attack. He called for calm and restraint, "for the sake of Iraq.”

Motorists commute near Prime Minister house in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday. AFP

He later appeared on Iraqi television, seated behind a desk in a white shirt, looking calm and composed. "Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future,” he said.

In a statement, the government said an explosives-laden drone tried to hit Al Kadhimi’s home. Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by heavy gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.

The statement released by state-run media said security forces were "taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt.”

There was no immediate claim for the attack. It comes amid a stand-off between security forces and pro-Iran Shiite militias whose supporters have been camped outside the Green Zone for nearly a month after they rejected the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections in which they lost around two-thirds of their seats.



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