Mor­tar at­tack in Bagh­dad in­jures one

Antelope Valley Press - - SECOND FRONT -

BAGH­DAD (AP) — A top U.S. com­man­der said Mon­day that mor­tars were used in an at­tack on the Amer­i­can em­bassy in Bagh­dad that in­jured one per­son and caused some ma­te­rial dam­age the pre­vi­ous night, not katyusha rock­ets as was ini­tially re­ported by staffers and a state­ment from the mil­i­tary.

Gen. Frank McKen­zie, a top U.S. com­man­der for the Mid­dle East, told re­porters traveling with him that the mor­tar at­tack started a fire that was put out. He said no U.S. mil­i­tary per­son­nel were in­jured, but one U.S. na­tional had a mi­nor in­jury but re­turned to work.

Two staff mem­bers at the em­bassy, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to brief the me­dia, said ini­tially that rock­ets slammed into a restau­rant in­side the Amer­i­can com­pound late Sun­day. A mil­i­tary state­ment had said five rock­ets hit in­side Bagh­dad’s Green Zone, where the em­bassy sits.

In a phone call with Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Adel Ab­dul-Mahdi,

U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo ex­pressed “out­rage” and blamed the at­tack on “Iran’s armed groups,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from State De­part­ment spokesper­son Mor­gan Orta­gu­sand. Pom­peo said the at­tack was an at­tempt to di­vert at­ten­tion from the sup­pres­sion of anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers in Iraq, the state­ment added.

A state­ment from Ab­dul-Mahdi’s of­fice said Pom­peo had called the pre­mier and the two dis­cussed mea­sures to strengthen Iraqi forces re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing diplo­matic mis­sions and pro­ce­dures to pre­vent sim­i­lar at­tack.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A riot po­lice­man pins down a fe­male anti-gov­ern­ment pro­tester to search her while se­cu­rity forces try to dis­perse demon­stra­tors dur­ing clashes in Bagh­dad, Iraq, Mon­day.

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