Angry protesters attack US embassy in Iraq

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Iraqi supporters of an Iranian-backed militia on Tuesday stormed the US embassy compound in Baghdad and set it partly aflame during a rowdy demonstration that has raised tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Protesters angered by recent US airstrikes on an Iran-backed Iraqi militia have reportedly broken into the US embassy compound in Baghdad.

Security forces fired tear gas and stun guns in an attempt to disperse the hundreds of protesters, injuring at least two bloodied demonstrators.

The guard towers protecting the massive compound appeared to be on fire. Reuters, citing unnamed Iraqi foreign ministry officials, claimed US embassy staff and the US ambassador in Baghdad had been evacuated, but a US official denied the report, saying no American personnel had left the country.

There was no confirmation of the breach Tuesday by Iraqi or US officials, but the apparent violation of what is considered American diplomatic soil by an angry mob will likely have diplomatic consequences.

It came amid hours of chaos and reports of attempts by protesters enraged by US airstrikes on a powerful Iranian-backed militia to storm the massive compound.

The US says it launched the airstrikes in response to an attack on a military base in northern Iraq which left an American contractor dead on Friday.

The US said it was retaliating for a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk on Friday that killed an American civilian contractor.

The US said it was retaliating for a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk on Friday that killed an American civilian contractor.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the airstrikes had violated his country’s sovereignty and would force it to review its relations with the US.

Kataib Hezbollah’s commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, warned that the militia’s response “would be very tough on the American forces in Iraq”.

Iran described the attacks as a “clear example of terrorism”.

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