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US Baghdad embassy attacked by protesters angry at air strikes


Protesters angered by recent US air strikes targeting an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia have attacked the American embassy compound in Baghdad.


US troops fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that got into a reception area in the compound, which is in the capital''s heavily fortified Green Zone.



A guard post on the street nearby was also set alight.
US President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack, warning: "They will pay a very big price!"


What happened in Baghdad?


Tuesday''s protest took place after funerals were held in Baghdad for the militia fighters who were killed in the US strikes.


Thousands of mourners - including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several other senior militia and paramilitary leaders - marched towards the Green Zone, where many Iraqi government offices and foreign embassies are located.

成千上萬的哀悼者,包括阿布·馬赫迪·穆罕迪斯(Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis)以及其他幾名高級民兵和準軍事領導人,朝著綠區前進,那里是伊拉克許多政府機關和外國使館的所在地。

They were allowed by Iraqi security forces to enter the zone and gather on a street outside the US embassy compound.


"This embassy has been proved to be an embassy of plotting against Iraq," said Qais al-Khazali, head of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia.

Asaib Ahl al-Haq民兵組織負責人Qais al-Khazali說:“事實證明,該大使館一直進行著密謀反伊拉克的活動?!?br />
Waving Kataib Hezbollah and other militia flags, and chanting anti-American slogans, the protesters threw stones at the compound''s main gate, pulled down security cameras, attacked empty guard posts, and started fires.


The situation later escalated when the compound''s wall was breached.


According to the Associated Press news agency, a gate was smashed open and dozens of people pushed about 5m (16ft) into a corridor leading to the main embassy building, before being forced to retreat by tear gas fired by US troops.


A US official told CBS News that the compound had not been breached but that protesters had scaled a wall with a ladder and get into a reception area outside it.


Iraqi soldiers and riot police were reportedly later deployed in the area and the protest died down as night fell.


Fifty people were treated for tear-gas inhalation at hospitals in Baghdad, a health ministry source told the BBC.


None of the embassy staff were evacuated, but they are now on lockdown, CBS reported. Ambassador Matthew Tueller was outside Iraq for a previously scheduled holiday and was reportedly returning to the embassy.

CBS報道,沒有使館工作人員被撤離,但他們現在處于封鎖狀態。美國大使馬修·圖勒(Matthew Tueller)原本正在伊拉克以外的地方度著一個原定的假,據報道他正在返回使館。

What was the reaction?


Kataib Hezbollah meanwhile called for protest outside the embassy until it was closed and the ambassador was expelled from Iraq, news website Al-Sumaria said.


Why did the US target Kataib Hezbollah?


The US said the militia had carried out repeated attacks on Iraqi bases that host US-led coalition forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) group.


In response, it added, US forces conducted "precision defensive strikes" on Sunday against five facilities, including weapon stores and command and control locations, that would degrade its ability to conduct future attacks.


Since 2009, the US has designated Kataib Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation and listed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as a "global terrorist".

自2009年以來,美國已將真主黨(Kataib Hezbollah)指定為恐怖組織,并將阿布·馬赫迪·穆罕迪斯(Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis)列為“全球恐怖分子”。

The defence department said the militia had a "strong lixage" with Iran''s Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), and had "repeatedly received lethal aid and other support from Iran".

國防部說,民兵組織與伊斯蘭革命衛隊(IRGC)海外行動機構伊朗的圣戰軍(Quds Force)有“牢固的聯系”,并“多次獲得了伊朗的關鍵援助和其他支持”。