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Iraq PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi survives drone attack, escapes unhurt

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Baghdad: Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday survived an assassination attempt early in the morning when a drone laden with explosives targeted his residence, the country’s officials said, adding that al-Kadhimi escaped unhurt and is believed to be in good health.

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It was the military that described the strike as an “assassination attempt” and, in an official statement released moments later, said the security forces are taking all necessary measures in connection with this “failed attempt”.

A statement from the Iraqi military said the attack targeted Kadhimi’s residence in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. It provided no further detail.

The attack on the Iraqi prime minister’s residence was carried out by an armed drone laden with explosives, according to the statement from the country’s military.

Two Iraqi officials told the media that seven of prime minister al-Kadhimi’s guards were injured in the attack. The officials said the drone strike actually took place in the Green Zone, a heavily fortified region in Baghdad.

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The Iraqi government statement also confirmed that the failed assassination attempt was with “an explosives-laden drone” that tried to target al-Kadhimi’s residence in the Green Zone.

As far as the residents of Baghdad are concerned, no reports of injuries have arrived so far. As per the media reports, the residents of the city heard the sound of an explosion, followed by gunfire, from the general direction of the Green Zone on early Sunday morning, shortly before news of the drone strike broke. Western diplomats based in the Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, also told a news agency that they heard explosions and gunfire in the area.

The drone strike comes amid a stand-off between security forces and heavily armed Shia militias aligned with Iran. In recent weeks, these pro-Iran groups have staged demonstrations near the Green Zone, protesting against the results of a general election last month which dealt a blow to their parliamentary power.

One of these protests on Friday had even turned deadly when the demonstrators, having already rejected the results of the elections in which they were the biggest losers, marched toward the Green Zone and exchanged fire with security forces posted there. One of the protesters died in the resulting crossfire, news agencies reported, adding that dozens of security forces were also injured. Following the clashes, al-Kadhimi had ordered an investigation to determine which side initiated the conflict and who violated orders not to open fire.

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