Baghdad Green Zone hit by mortars

 

A volley of rockets smashed into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on Monday hitting at least five people, including an Iraqi army major and two US soldiers, a witness told AFP.


The rockets struck near a checkpoint in the complex, which is the seat of the Iraqi government and home to most foreign embassies, said Muhanned Al Dulaimi, who counts himself lucky to have survived the attack.

"The rockets hit the ground near the checkpoint. The sirens were sounding. I saw five people lying on the ground. Two of them were American soldiers, two were civilians and one was an Iraqi army major."

He was unable to determine whether the casualties were dead or wounded.

There was no immediate confirmation of the attack from the US embassy.

The Green Zone, a maze of blast-wall lined roads that once served as Saddam Hussein's presidential palace complex, has been subject to waves of mortar and rocket fire since Sunday last week.

Two US officials and two Iraqi guards of Sunni Vice President Tareq Al Hashemi have been killed since the attacks began and at least 10 people have been wounded, not including the latest casualties.

The top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has blamed neighbouring Iran for the rocket bombardments, saying the projectiles are "Iranian-provided, Iranian-made rockets."
 
US commanders say the rocket fire originates from Sadr City, bastion of the Mahdi Army militia of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in east Baghdad, where Iraqi and US troops have been battling Shiite gunmen since last week. (AFP)
 
 
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