Mustafa al-Kadhimi: Iraqi prime minister survives “assassination attempt” | News

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The military says the prime minister was unharmed, but sources say at least six members of his personal protection force were injured.

The Iraqi military says Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt after an explosives-laden drone targeted his residence in the capital, Baghdad.

Kadhimi was unharmed, but security sources told Reuters news agency that at least six members of the prime minister’s personal protection forces were injured in Sunday’s attack.

Kadhimi called for calm and restraint in a Twitter post.

“I’m fine, praise God, and I ask for calm and restraint from everyone for the sake of Iraq,” he said.

The early morning attack came after violent protests in the Iraqi capital over the result of the October 10 general election.

The groups leading the protests are heavily armed Iranian-backed militias that have lost much of their parliamentary power in the elections. They denounced irregularities in voting and counting of votes.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack on Kadhimi’s residence in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies.

A statement from the Iraqi army said the failed assassination attempt took place with “a drone loaded with explosives” and that the prime minister was in “good health”.

“The security forces are taking the necessary measures in relation to this failed attempt,” he said.

Two government officials said Kadhimi’s residence was hit by at least one explosion and confirmed to Reuters that the prime minister was safe.

Western diplomats based in the vicinity of the Green Zone said they heard explosions and gunshots in the area.

Ranj Alaaldin, a non-resident colleague at the Brookings Institution, tweeted that “the assassination attempt is a dramatic escalation, crossing a line in an unprecedented way that could have violent reverberations.”

The attack comes after protests by party supporters who contest the results of the vote that turned violent on Friday with protesters throwing stones at the police near the Green Zone.

Police responded with tear gas and bullets, killing at least one protester.

Some of the leaders of the militia’s most powerful factions have openly accused Kadhimi of Friday’s clashes and the demonstrator’s death.

“The blood of the martyrs is to hold you responsible,” Qais al-Khazali, leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, said, addressing Kadhimi at a funeral held for the protester.

“The protesters only had one request against election fraud. Responding like this (with live fire) means that you are primarily responsible for this fraud, “he said.

Independent analysts say the election results reflect anger at Iranian-backed armed groups, widely accused of involvement in the killing of nearly 600 protesters who took to the streets in separate anti-government demonstrations in 2019.

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