Blasts rock Baghdad’s Green Zone, rockets struck US Embassy vicinity

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Explosions have been reported in the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, hosting the US Embassy and other foreign diplomatic and military installations.

Several rockets were reportedly launched towards the US Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday evening, local media reported.

It was not immediately clear how many missiles struck in the proximity of the US diplomatic quarters, which has repeatedly come under rocket fire in recent months, with conflicting reports Security sources, cited by Reuters, reported that two missiles landed inside the Green Zone, including one that hit the ground near the embassy itself. No one has been hurt in the attack, they said.

The reports of the attack come less than an hour after Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy from the race after his latest attempt to form a government on Sunday faltered due to the lack of quorum in the parliament.

Allawi was hoping to break a months-long deadlock that saw Iraq engulfed in a wave of mass protests erupting in October and bringing down the cabinet of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi two months later.

Announcing his decision to withdraw, Allawi blamed political parties who he accused of placing obstacles to forming an independent government for his failure to solve the political crisis.

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