Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt after an armed drone targeted his residence early Sunday. According to officials, the prime minister did not suffer any injuries in the attack. Commenting on the incident, two Iraqi officials said seven of his security guards were injured in the attack which occurred in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone area.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.
“The rockets of treason will not shake one bit of the steadfastness and determination of the heroic security forces," the prime minister tweeted shortly after the attack.
“I am fine and among my people. Thank God," he added in the post.
In a statement, the government said the drone tried to hit al-Kadhimi’s home, adding that he was “unharmed and in good health.”
Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by gunfire from the direction of the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.
The statement released by state-run media said the failed assassination attempt was with “a booby-trapped drone that tried to target his residence in the Green Zone.”
“The security forces are taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt,” it said.
It was not clear who was behind the attack, nor did anyone immediately claim responsibility. It comes amid a stand-off between security forces and pro-Iran Shiite militias whose supporters have been camped outside the Green Zone for nearly a month after they rejected the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections in which they were the biggest losers.
Protests turned deadly Friday when the demonstrators marched toward the Green Zone. There was an exchange of fire in which one protester was killed.
Dozens of security forces were injured. Al-Khadimi ordered an investigation to determine what sparked the clashes and who violated orders not to open fire.
The United States, the UN Security Council and others have praised the October 10 election, which was mostly violence-free and without major technical glitches.
Following the vote, militia supporters had pitched tents near the Green Zone, rejecting the election results and threatening violence unless their demands for a recount were met.
(With inputs from AP)