Middle East

Iraqi PM decries ‘cowardly’ attack on his home by drones carrying explosives

BAGHDAD, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi escaped unharmed from an armed drone assassination attempt in Baghdad, officials said on Sunday, in an incident that raised tension in Iraq weeks after a general election disputed by Iran-backed militia groups.

Kadhimi appeared in a video footage published by his office on Sunday chairing a meeting with top security commanders to discuss the drone attack.

“The cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the home of the prime minister last night with the aim of assassinating him, is a serious targeting of the Iraqi state by criminal armed groups,” his office said in a statement after the meeting.

Six of Kadhimi’s guards outside his residence in the fortified Green Zone were wounded, security sources told Reuters.

Three drones were used in the attack, including two that were downed by security forces while a third drone hit the residence, state news agency INA quoted an interior ministry spokesperson as saying.

A spokesperson for the armed forces commander in chief said that after the attack the security situation was stable in the Green Zone, which houses the residence, government buildings and foreign embassies.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

The attack came two days after clashes in Baghdad between government forces and supporters of Iran-backed political parties that lost dozens of parliamentary seats after an Oct. 10 general election. Most of the parties have armed wings.

Kadhimi ordered a probe into the deaths and injuries of demonstrators and security forces in those clashes. read more

President Barham Salih condemned the attack as a heinous crime against Iraq. “We cannot accept that Iraq will be dragged into chaos and a coup against its constitutional system,” he said in a tweet.

Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose party was the biggest winner in last month’s election, called the attack a terrorist act against Iraq’s stability that aimed to “return Iraq to a state of chaos to be controlled by non-state forces”.

The United States, United Nations, Saudi Arabia and Iran condemned the attack.


Video released by the prime minister’s office showed damage to parts of the residence, unexploded ordnance on the roof, and a damaged SUV vehicle parked in the garage.

Security forces retrieved the remains of a small explosive-laden drone, a security official with knowledge of the attack told Reuters.

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