One hurt in Baghdad rocket attack on US embassy as protesters continue to clash with Iraqi security forces

The US embassy in Baghdad was attacked with a rocket for the third time this month as protesters continue to clash with security forces across Iraq.

One member of staff at the embassy was injured in the attack overnight, but the extent of their injuries are unknown.

Staff at the embassy said the rocket slammed into a restaurant inside the embassy compound.

The US embassy is within Baghdad’s Green Zone and has been a flashpoint amid wider regional tensions between the US and Iran.

Iraqi supporters of an Iran-backed militia stormed the embassy compound on New Year’s Eve, smashing the main door and setting fire to the reception area.

Protesters burn property in front of the US embassy compound, in Baghdad, on December 31. Credit: AP

At least five katyusha rockets landed inside the Green Zone on Sunday, according to a US military statement.

The US has accused Iran-backed militias of targeting US interests by attacking military bases housing Americans and diplomatic missions.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the attack in a statement, asserting Iraq's commitment to protecting diplomatic missions in the country.

The perpetrators of last night’s attack were not immediately known.

Protesters set fire to close a street during clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters near Baghdad's Khilani square. Credit: AP

Meanwhile violent clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters also continued to seethe overnight, with one protester shot dead in a crackdown in the country's south.

Iraq has been roiled by over four months of demonstrations criticising alleged government corruption, high unemployment and Iranian influence in Iraqi politics.

Security forces have killed at least 500 protesters. The country is also facing a political clash over naming the next prime minister.

The latest protester's death came amid a violent pre-dawn crackdown by security forces on a protest camp in the southern city of Nasiriyah, an activist and a medical official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Police fired live rounds to disperse crowds from a central square in Nasiriyah where protesters were staging a sit-in, prompting demonstrators to flee.

The encampment site was later burned. It was not immediately clear whether security forces or unknown groups had torched it. The city has been a frequent flashpoint in the protest movement.