Baghdad on high alert following assassination attempt on Iraqi PM
The Iraqi army and security services carried out large-scale deployments across the centre of Baghdad on Sunday morning, in the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
Military helicopters, infantry units and armoured forces deployed around the Green Zone, a high security neighbourhood in the Iraqi capital that hosts most embassies and government buildings.
Sources in the security services told The New Arab's Arabic language site Al Araby Al Jadeed that Kadhimi met with senior army and security leaders to discuss the developing situation.
"Cowardly missiles and drones will not build our homeland nor our future," Al-Kadhimi announced in a video statement.
"We are working to build this homeland and a better future for Iraqis through respect for the state and its institutions, and establishing a better future for Iraqis."
The assassination attempt on the Iraqi prime minister took place early on Sunday, Iraqi security services revealed.
His residence in the Green Zone was targeted with a booby-trapped drone. Several members of Khadhimi’s personal guard were injured, but the PM was not hurt in the incident.
Sources in the Iraqi security services told Al Araby Al Jadeed that the incident was under investigation by the Iraqi counter-terrorism unit.
The explosives-laden drone was an artisanal drone similar to the ones used by armed militias to target American bases. According to the same sources, the drone was launched from the vicinity of the Green Zone.
Iraqi President Barham Salih denounced the terror attack against his Prime Minister, calling it "a heinous crime against Iraq" and urging for unity in "confronting the evil forces endangering the security of the country and the safety of its people".
ان الاعتداء الارهابي الذي استهدف رئيس الوزراء تجاوز خطير وجريمة نكراء بحق العراق، ويستوجب وحدة الموقف في مجابهة الاشرار المتربصين بأمن هذا الوطن و سلامة شعبه. لا يمكن ان نقبل بجر العراق الى الفوضى والانقلاب على نظامه الدستوري.— Barham Salih (@BarhamSalih) November 7, 2021
The attack came in the aftermath of violent protests in Baghdad over the result of the general election, held this October. The protests were led by heavily armed pro-Iran factions, who have lost much of their parliamentary power following the vote.