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Iraqi army: Rocket hits Baghdad’s Green Zone; no casualties

BAGHDAD - A Katyusha rocket landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Wednesday, the Iraqi military said, a day after a British Embassy convoy was targeted on a key highway in the city.

There were no casualties and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack — the latest in near-daily rocket assaults targeting the Green Zone and Iraqi army bases hosting U.S. troops. The attacks have raised security concerns about armed groups outside of the state’s control.

The Green Zone is the seat of Iraq’s government and home to several foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy. Wednesday’s rocket hit near a residential building in the al-Qadisiya complex but caused no damages.

An Iraqi security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the building was empty at the time of the attack. The military statement said the rocket was launched from the nearby Amel neighbourhood.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has promised to reign in armed groups acting outside of the state’s authority. The attacks surged after al-Kadhimi travelled to the U.S. last month to conclude strategic talks, putting pressure on his administration.

The British convoy was targeted on a Baghdad highway close to the Umm al-Tabool Mosque, between the airport and the Green Zone, a strategic road often used by diplomatic missions.

Earlier in the week, two rockets were fired at the Green Zone late on Monday but caused to casualties; one was intercepted by the U.S. embassy’s C-RAM defence system. That attack came after a roadside bomb targeted an convoy of vehicles carrying equipment for Americans earlier in the day on the main highway in Babylon province, south of Baghdad.
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