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Contractor killed, service member wounded in rocket strike near US base in Iraq

US HEADLINES:

A rocket attack near a base housing American forces in northern Iraq killed a US-led coalition contractor and wounded at least eight other people on Monday night.

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A US service member and two civilians were among the injured in the 9:30 p.m. strike in between the Irbil international airport in the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run territory and the base, authorities said.

Initial reports indicate at least three rockets struck the area.

Coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said in a statement the attack is under investigation. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.

Marotto did not disclose the nationality of the dead contractor.

Iraqi President Barham Saleh condemned the attack in a statement posted online, calling it a “dangerous escalation.”

Rocket attacks have frequently targeted the US presence in Baghdad, but slowed down late last year ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Former President Donald Trump had blamed the attacks on Iran-backed groups.

Last year, tensions soared between the US and Iran when an US drone attack killed top Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani.

With Post wires

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