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More Unrest Roils Iraq

Meanwhile, a rocket attack on US embassy injures one
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2020 8:18 AM CST
Protesters set fire to close a street during clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters near Baghdad's Khilani square, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.   (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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(Newser) – A nighttime rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad injured one personnel member and caused some material damage, staffers said Monday, per the AP. The two staff members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not specify the injured person's nationality or the severity of the wounds. They said the rocket slammed into a restaurant inside the embassy compound. It remains unclear who fired it. The embassy is within the Iraqi capital's Green Zone and has been a flashpoint amid wider regional tensions between the US and Iran that have played out inside Iraq in recent weeks. Iraqi supporters of an Iran-backed militia stormed the embassy compound on Dec. 31, smashing the main door and setting fire to the reception area.

Violence between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters also continued to seethe overnight, with one protester shot dead in a violent crackdown in the country's south. Unrest was also ongoing in the capital, with new clashes erupting Monday near the central Khilani Square, where security forces fired tear gas to disperse crowds. A female anti-government protester was overpowered, dragged by the hair, and pinned down by a member of the security forces outside Baghdad's municipality building. The incident, captured by an AP photographer, was a rare occurrence in the largely male-dominated front-lines of the demonstrations. Iraq has been roiled by over four months of demonstrations criticizing government corruption, high unemployment, and Iranian influence in Iraqi politics. Security forces have killed at least 500 protesters.

(Read more Iraq stories.)

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