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Iran condemns drone attack on Iraqi PM, urges unity, vigilance

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Iran has condemned a drone attack targeting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and reiterated the Islamic Republic’s “firm and continuous position” in support of stability, security and tranquility in the Arab neighbor.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Sunday called for vigilance by all Iraqis against the “conspiracies that have targeted Iraq's security and progress”, Tasnim news agency reported.

“Such incidents are in the interests of the parties that have violated Iraq's stability, security, independence and territorial integrity over the past 18 years and sought to achieve their sinister goals in the region by creating terrorist groups and stirring sedition,” it quoted Khatibzadeh as saying.  

The spokesman also expressed satisfaction that the Iraqi premier is safe, saying he hoped that with unity and solidarity, the people, government and political currents of Iraq would contribute to the development and prosperity of their country.

Earlier Sunday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said the attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Kadhimi was “a new sedition that must be traced back to foreign think tanks, which have brought nothing but insecurity, discord, and instability to the oppressed Iraqi people through the creation and support of terrorist groups and occupation of this country for years”.  

Kadhimi appeared in a video footage published by his office later Sunday, chairing a meeting with top security commanders to discuss the drone attack.

"The cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the home of the prime minister last night with the aim of assassinating him, is a serious targeting of the Iraqi state by criminal armed groups," the premier’s office said in a statement issued following the meeting.

Security sources said six members of Kadhimi's personal protection force stationed outside his residence in the Green Zone were wounded.

State news agency INA quoted an interior ministry spokesman as saying that three drones were used in the attack, including two that were intercepted and downed by security forces while a third drone hit the residence.

A security official was quoted as saying that remains of a small explosive-laden drone had been retrieved by security forces to be investigated.

The attack came two days after government forces in Baghdad attacked protesters agitating peacefully against the results of a general election on Oct. 10, triggering an outcry by many Iraqis.

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