Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Iraqi prime minister narrowly survived the assassination attempt, officials say

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with an armed drone that targeted his residence early Sunday, with no damage to him, officials said.

Two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press that seven of their security guards were wounded in the attack, which took place in the heavily fortified Green Zone area of ​​Baghdad. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make an official statement.

Soon after the attack the prime minister tweeted: “The rockets of sedition will not shake the perseverance and determination of the brave security forces.”

He said in the post, “I am fine and among my people. Thank God.”

In a statement, the government said drones attempted to strike al-Kadhimi’s home, adding that he was “unsafe and in good health.” Residents of Baghdad heard an explosion followed by gunshots from the direction of the capital’s Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.

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A statement released by state-run media said the failed assassination attempt used “a booby-trapped drone that tried to target his residence in the green zone.”

“Security forces are taking necessary steps regarding this failed attempt,” the statement said.

It was not clear who was behind the attack nor was there an immediate claim of responsibility. It comes amid a standoff between security forces and pro-Iranian Shiite militias, whose supporters have been camping outside the green zone for nearly a month after Iraq’s parliamentary elections rejected the results, in which they were the biggest losers.

Baghdad

The protest turned deadly on Friday when protesters marched towards the Green Zone. One protester was killed in an exchange of bullets. Dozens of security forces were injured. Al-Khadimi ordered an investigation to determine who instigated the clashes and who violated orders not to open fire.

The United States, the United Nations Security Council and others have praised the October 10 election, which was mostly violence-free and without major technical glitches.

After the vote, militia supporters pitched tents near the Green Zone, debunked election results and threatened violence unless their demands for recounting were met.

Baseless claims of voter fraud have cast a shadow over the vote. The standoff with militia supporters has also increased tensions between rival Shiite factions which could be reflected on the street and threaten Iraq’s new relative stability.

The election was held ahead of schedule in response to mass protests in late 2019 that saw thousands rally in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite southern provinces against endemic corruption, poor services and unemployment. He also opposed the heavy interference of neighboring Iran in Iraq’s affairs through Iran-backed militias.

The militias have lost some popularity since the 2018 vote, when they made huge electoral gains. Many hold him responsible for suppressing the 2019 protests and challenging the authority of the state.

The biggest gains were made by the influential Shia cleric Muktada al-Sadr, who won the most parliament seats at 73 out of 329. While al-Sadr maintains good relations with Iran, al-Sadr publicly opposes outside interference in Iraq’s affairs.

The protests were intended to pressure al-Sadr to ensure that Iran-aligned factions are part of the next cabinet. As the winner, al-Sadr’s faction will seek coalition partners and name the prime minister.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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