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Rocket attack on U.S. embassy in Iraq injures at least one person

By
Don Jacobson
A series of rockets were fired into the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone late Sunday night amid heightened tensions focusing on the embassy Photo by Ahmed Jalil/EPA-EFE
A series of rockets were fired into the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone late Sunday night amid heightened tensions focusing on the embassy Photo by Ahmed Jalil/EPA-EFE

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- One person was injured in a late-night rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, State Department officials said Monday.

A series of rockets were fired into the heavily fortified embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone late Sunday night amid heightened tensions focusing on the embassy, which has been the target of demonstrations demanding the withdrawal of U.S. military from Iraq.

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State Department officials did not say if any American personnel were injured.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported at least three people were hurt in the attack as five Katyusha rockets crashed into the Green Zone, some of which directly struck the U.S. Embassy. A restaurant inside the compound was burned.

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The State Department did not directly blame Iran for the attack, however suspicion fell on Iraqi Shiite militias, which have close ties to Iran and have been involved in previous attacks on U.S. military personnel.

Supporters of one such militia, Kataib Hezbollah, stormed the embassy on Jan. 1 in protest of U.S. airstrikes three days earlier which killed 25 militia members. That came in retaliation for a Dec. 27 rocket attack attributed to Kataib Hezbollah in which a U.S. civilian contractor at the K-1 military base in Kirkuk was killed.

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U.S. officials said since September more than 14 attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq have been launched by Iran or Iranian-backed Iraqi militias.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi condemned the attack, saying Iraqi forces have been ordered to "deploy to research, investigate to prevent the recurrence of such attacks, arresting those who fired these missiles to get his punishment in front of the judiciary."

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