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A Katyusha rocket on Sunday crashed into Baghdad’s Green Zone, which houses government offices and embassies, but did not cause any casualties, Iraqi security services said in a statement.

The rocket attack came after Washington ordered the evacuation of non-essential diplomatic staff from the Baghdad embassy and the Arbil consulate citing threats from Tehran-backed Iraqi armed groups.

“A Katyusha rocket crashed into the Green Zone without causing casualties,” it said in a brief statement without giving further details.

A police source told AFP that “initial reports indicate that the rocket was fired from an open field” in southern Baghdad.

The Green Zone is one of the world’s most high-security institutional quarters.

Located in the center of the Iraqi capital, it houses parliament, the prime minister’s office, the presidency, other key institutions, top officials’ homes and embassies.

The US embassy in Baghdad – the world’s largest – lies within the heavily fortified neighborhood, also known as the International Zone, which is protected by concrete walls.

As tensions rise in the Gulf amid a standoff between Washington and Tehran, the administration of US President Donald Trump has also sent an aircraft carrier and heavy B-52 bombers to the region.

– with reporting by AFP

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