Rocket fired into Baghdad's Green Zone, no casualties

by Reuters
Sunday, 19 May 2019 18:14 GMT

(Recasts lead with official statement, adds details and quote)

BAGHDAD, May 19 (Reuters) - A rocket was fired into Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign embassies, but caused no casualties, the Iraqi military said on Sunday.

A blast was heard in central Baghdad on Sunday night, Reuters witnesses said and two Baghdad-based diplomatic sources also said they heard the blast.

"A Katyusha rocket fell in the middle of the Green Zone without causing any losses, details to come later," the military said in a brief statement.

The Katyusha multiple rocket launcher is an inexpensive type of rocket artillery that can deliver explosives to a target quicker than conventional artillery, but is less accurate.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Erbil evacuated non-emergency staff this week.

President Donald Trump's administration has said it sent additional forces to the region to counter what it called credible threats from Iran against U.S. interests, including from militias it supports in Iraq.

Iran and the United States have both said they do not want war as tensions between them increase. (Reporting by John Davison and Ahmed Aboulenein; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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