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4 Jan, 2020 16:53

Rockets land close to US Embassy in Baghdad, no known casualties - military

Rockets land close to US Embassy in Baghdad, no known casualties - military

Several explosions have rocked Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where the US Embassy is located. The Iraqi military confirmed that some rockets were fired, targeting the area.

Several unguided ‘Katyusha’ rockets landed inside the Green Zone, the military said in a statement cited by Reuters. There have been no reported casualties so far. Some accounts say one rocket landed not far from the US embassy.

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One blast allegedly blocked the road leading to the American diplomatic mission in the Iraqi capital. Mortar shells also hit the neighboring Jadriya district, where Baghdad University is located, injuring at least five people.

A separate report suggests that Balad Air Base, located some 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, has also come under rocket attack. The base houses some American troops.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Shia militia Kataib Hezbollah has issued a warning to local security forces implying more attacks are coming. People must stay at least one kilometer away from US bases and facilities housing American troops in Iraq starting Sunday evening, they were quoted saying by local media. They stopped short of claiming responsibility for Saturday’s rocket attacks, though.

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The incidents come a day after Washington ordered the assassination of one of Iran’s top commanders, Major General Qassem Soleimani. The Iraqi Shia PMF militia deputy commander was also killed in the US drone strike, alongside a dozen others.

The US claimed the assassination was an act of pre-emptive self-defense. Tehran called it an act of international terrorism and vowed revenge. Massive demonstrations mourning the death of Soleimani and the Iraqi militia commanders were held in both Iraq and Iran.

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