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Mortar bombs strike Green Zone in Baghdad

Written by: Staff

Baghdad, June 21: A barrage of mortar bombs hit Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone today and several plumes of smoke could be seen rising near buildings housing the Iraqi parliament and government offices, Reuters reporters said.

On the other side of the river Tigris, a thick plume of black smoke could be seen near the area where a suicide truck bomb partly demolished a Shi'ite mosque and killed 87 people on Tuesday. The origin of the smoke was not immediately known.

At least seven mortar rounds could be heard slamming into the Green Zone, which houses many Iraqi government ministries as well as the US, British and other Western embassies.

It was unclear if there were any casualties.

The Green Zone, on the west side of the Tigris, is Baghdad's most secure area but has been a frequent target for rockets and mortar bombs fired by militants. The strikes have lately become more frequent and more accurate.

A mortar attack last week killed one employee of a hotel on the compound. There were also a number of casualties in April and May.

On April 12, a suicide bomber killed one politician in the parliament building in the worst breach of security in the Green Zone since the March 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.


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