Iraq's prime minister survives assassination attempt after 'explosive-laden drones' target home

Damage caused to Iraq PM's house and Mustafa al-Kadhimi, AP/Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office
The Iraqi government says Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with an armed drone. Credit: AP/Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office

Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has survived an assassination attempt after weaponised drones targeted his home.

The attack, in the early hours of Sunday, is a major escalation amid tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month’s parliamentary election results.

Two Iraqi officials said that seven of Mr al-Kadhimi’s security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones which occurred in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area.

The tweet from the Iraqi Prime Minister Credit: Screenshot

The PM tweeted: “The rockets of treason will not shake one bit of the steadfastness and determination of the heroic security forces. I am fine and among my people. Thank God.”

In a statement, the government said the drones tried to hit Mr al-Kadhimi’s home.

Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.

The statement released by state-run media said the failed assassination attempt was with “an explosives-laden drone that tried to target his residence in the Green Zone”.

Seven security guards were injured in the attack. Credit: Iraq Prime Minister's Media Office/AP

“The security forces are taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt,” it said.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, nor did anyone immediately claim responsibility.

It comes amid a stand-off between security forces and pro-Iran Shiite militias whose supporters have been camped outside the Green Zone for nearly a month after they rejected the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections in which they were the biggest losers.

Mr al-Kadhimi, 54, was Iraq’s former intelligence chief before becoming prime minister in May last year.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Credit: Iraq Prime Minister's Media Office/AP

He is considered by the militias to be close to the US, and has tried to balance between Iraq’s alliances with both the US and Iran.

Prior to the elections, he hosted several rounds of talks between regional foes Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad in a bid to ease regional tensions.

Boris Johnson has condemned the attempt on Mustafa al-Kadhimi's life.

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Johnson “strongly condemned the attack on the prime minister’s home in Baghdad and offered his sympathies to those injured”.

“He made clear that the UK stands by the Iraqi people and supports the prime minister’s call for calm and restraint,” the spokesman said.