x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Insurgent group behind Biden rocket attack

An Iraqi insurgent group claims responsibility for a rocket attack on Baghdad's Green Zone during a visit by American vice president Joe Biden.

An Iraqi insurgent group claimed responsibility for what it said was a rocket attack on Baghdad's Green Zone during a visit by the American vice president Joe Biden, a US monitoring group said today. The Mujahedeen Army said the rockets were fired into the heavily fortified area as a "reception" for Mr Biden, urging him to deliver a message to the US president Barack Obama to withdraw from the country, SITE Intelligence Group reported, citing a statement posted on websites used by jihadists.

Iraqi security officials said at least four mortar shells landed near the US embassy in the Green Zone yesterday evening, hours after Mr Biden had arrived on a surprise visit to the Iraqi capital. He was unharmed, according to a reporter travelling with him. "The mujahideen were able to shower the Green Zone and the occupation's headquarters in Baghdad Airport with six surface-to-surface rockets," the group said.

"They allege that mortars were fired, but we affirm that they were rockets as stated above." The Mujahideen Army is considered as being close to Ezzat Ibrahim, who served as a top official under the former executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and is currently on the run. The group is particularly active in the area north of Baghdad and had in January claimed an attack on American base in the city of Taji.

*AFP