Middle East/North Africa

Pope condemns ‘vile’ assassination attempt in Iraq

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Pope Francis condemned the ‘vile’ assassination attempt against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, sent a telegram to al-Kadhimi offering prayers to his family and others who were injured in Monday’s attack, The Associated Press reported.

“In condemning this vile act of terrorism, His Holiness once more expresses his confidence that with the blessing of the most high God, the people of Iraq will be confirmed in wisdom and strength in pursuing the path of peace through dialogue and fraternal solidarity,” the telegram said.

Pope Francis visited Iraq in early March, and al-Kadhimi was part of a delegation that greeted the pontiff when he arrived at Baghdad international airport, according to the official Vatican News.

Iraqi officials say that three drones were aimed at al-Kadhimi residence in the heavily secured Green Zone where government offices are situated. Two of the drones were intercepted by security forces, but the third drone struck the prime minister’s residence. 

While al-Kadhimi was not injured, six members of his personal security team were. They were reportedly on the exterior of the residence.

Iraqi officials on Monday told Reuters that the attack was carried out by Iran-supported groups that were angry about last month’s parliamentary elections, which saw Iran-backed groups’ power in parliament decrease and suffer big losses.

Meanwhile, regional officials told the news outlet that Tehran was aware of the attempt before it took place, but that Iran did not call for the attack.

President Biden condemned the “terrorist attack” targeting al-Kadhimi on Sunday, adding that he instructed his national security team to offer “all appropriate assistance” to Iraq’s security forces as they investigate the attack.

Tags Assassination attempt Iran Iraq Joe Biden Pope Francis

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