Iraqi PM says failed assassins identified

BAGHDAD-Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on Sunday that the perpetrators of the assassination attempt at his residence in the capital Baghdad have been identified.

"We will pursue those who committed the crime. We know them well, and we will reveal their identities," read a statement from the prime minister's media office.

These are the same perpetrators who killed Nibras Farman, an Iraqi National Intelligence Service officer. Al-Kadhimi said they will be brought to justice, without giving further details.

Also on Sunday, official television reported that Iraqi security forces identified the launch area of the drones in the Green Zone.

"The two drones which attacked the prime minister's house were launched from an area located 12 kilometers northeast of Baghdad," said Yahia Rasoul, spokesman of the Iraqi forces' commander in chief, to state-run Iraqiya channel.

Rasoul said the two drones flew at a low altitude to prevent them from being discovered by radars, adding that "the terrorist assassination attempt was carefully planned".

Before dawn, al-Kadhimi escaped unharmed from the armed drone assassination attempt at his residence in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses some of the main offices of the Iraqi government and foreign embassies.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Sunday.

Through a statement from his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief called for the perpetrators of the crime to be held accountable, and urged Iraqis to exercise utmost restraint and reject violence and attempts to destabilize Iraq.

Inclusive dialogue urged

Guterres "urges all political actors to uphold the constitutional order and resolve differences through peaceful and inclusive dialogue".

US President Joe Biden earlier on Sunday condemned the attack that targeted al-Kadhimi and said his administration would help Iraq identify those responsible.

"I strongly condemn the terrorist attack targeting the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister al-Kadhimi," Biden said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also "offered his sympathies to those injured" in the attack, a Downing Street spokesman said in a statement.

The assassination attempt came amid protests by followers of political parties rejecting last month's parliamentary election results.

On Friday, the protests escalated into a clash with security forces at the entrances of the Green Zone, which left two protesters dead and dozens of security members and protesters wounded.

The failed assassination attempt has intensified tensions following the elections.

In the elections on Oct 10, the Sadrist Movement led by prominent Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took the lead with more than 70 seats, while the al-Fatah coalition garnered 17 seats.

Political parties questioning the results said the elections were manipulated and that they would not accept the "fabricated results".

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