Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi has survived an assassination attempt using an explosive-laden drone that targeted his residence, and is seemingly unscathed, the country’s military says.
Al-Kadhimi escaped unhurt, but according to Reuters news agency, at least six members of the prime minister’s personal protection force were wounded in Sunday’s attack. Three drones were involved in the assassination attempt, according to Ministry of Interior Spokesman General Saad Maan, speaking to the state-run Al-Iraqiya news network. Security forces were able to down two of the drones, Maan said.
The prime minister tweeted shortly after the attack: “The rockets of treason will not shake one bit of the steadfastness and determination of the heroic security forces.”
“I am fine and among my people. Thank God,” he wrote.
Kadhimi’s office described the attack as a ” failed assassination attempt”. No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack.
Al-Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief, later appeared on Iraqi television: “Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future,” he said.
The early morning attack came after violent unrest over recent election results on October 10.
The United States swiftly condemned the attack and said it was “relieved to learn the Prime Minister was unharmed”.
“We are in close touch with the Iraqi security forces charged with upholding Iraq’s sovereignty and independence and have offered our assistance as they investigate this attack,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani also condemned Sunday’s attack, calling it “a new sedition”.
“The attempt … is a new sedition that must be traced back to foreign think-tanks,” he said on Twitter, without giving further details.