Iraq PM condemns rocket attack at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

Five Katyusha rockets crashed into a riverbank near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone without causing any injuries or serious damage, a statement from U.S. Joint Operations Command said.

One rocket landed inside the embassy walls, an Iraqi security official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Iraqi government regulations.

It is the third such attack this month and the perpetrators were not immediately known.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the rocket attack that targeted the U.S. Embassy. In a statement, he asserted Iraq’s commitment to “protecting all diplomatic missions.”

Separately on Sunday, one protester was killed by security forces after hundreds of anti-government protesters flooded the streets of Iraq’s capital and southern provinces.

Security forces fired tear gas and live rounds to disperse the crowds from the capital’s Khilani Square, medical and security officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. One protester was killed and six wounded after security forces fired live rounds in nearby Wathba Square later in the evening.

An anti-government protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by riot police during clashes in Baghdad on Sunday. (Hadi Mizban/The Associated Press)

At least 28 demonstrators were reported wounded by Iraqi security forces in the first hours of Sunday’s street rallies.

The mass protests started in October over widespread government corruption and a lack of public services and jobs. They quickly grew into calls for sweeping changes to Iraq’s political system that was imposed after the 2003 U.S. invasion. Iraqi security forces have responded harshly. At least 500 protesters have been killed since the unrest began.

Iraq also has been roiled by U.S.-Iran tensions that threatened a regional war after an American drone strike this month killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad.

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