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US condemns assassination attempt on Iraqi PM

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US condemns assassination attempt on Iraqi PM
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US State Department spokesperson Ned Price

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price has condemned the recent assassination attempt of Iraqi Prime Minister MustafaAl-Khadimi earlier on Sunday. Iraqi military officials said in a statement that an explosives-laden drone had been used to carry out the attempt at the PM's residence in Green Zone, Baghdad during the early hours of Sunday morning.

"We are following the reported drone attack targeting the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Kadhimi. We are relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed. This apparent act of terrorism, which we strongly condemn, was directed at the heart of the Iraqi state," Price said in a statement.

Iraqi security officials have begun investigating the incident, which was initially reported as a rocket attack by the Al Arabiya news agency. Earlier reports also said that several of the Prime Minister's bodyguards had been injured during the attempt although Al-Khadimi himself later came out to assure the public that he was unharmed and to call for peace and restraint. The USA has also offered it's assistance to the investigation.

Although no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attempt on Al-Khadimi's life, speculation is rife that pro-Iran militia supporters who had protested outside the Green Zone on Saturday may be involved. One protestor was killed in an exchange of gunfire as security officials fired into the crowd, after which the Prime Minister launched an investigation into the incident.

Factions allegedly associated with Iran have been protesting the results of the October elections which they claim were marred by voter fraud although no evidence or data has emerged to back this narrative. The UNHCR had praised the relatively calm and peaceful election season. However Iran's top security official Ali Shamkhani condemned the attack on Al-Khadimi as as a kind of 'new sedition'.

"The attempt on Al-Kadhimi's life is a new sedition that must be traced back to foreign think tanks, which have brought nothing but insecurity, discord & instability and oppressed Iraqi people through creation & support of terrorist groups & occupation of this country for years," Shamkhani tweeted.

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TAGS:USA Iraq Iraq Prime Minister Assassination Diplomacy Iran 
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