Rocket Attacks on Korean Embassy in Iraq, Afghanistan Base

      May 17, 2011 09:59

      The Korean Embassy to Iraq and the Korean Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Charikar, Afghanistan were hit by rockets over the weekend. Seoul has launched an investigation to find out whether insurgents are specifically targeting Korean facilities in retaliation for the U.S.' killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on May 1.

      The Foreign Ministry said six rockets were fired at the Green Zone in Baghdad, where most embassies are located, from the outskirts of the Iraqi capital around 1 p.m. on Sunday. One of them landed a few hundred meters away from the Korean Embassy in Aljadria, about 2 km across the Tigris River from the Green Zone.

      Embassy staffers heard an enormous noise and felt enough vibration from the rocket attack that some ducked under their desks.

      The attack killed 13 in Baghdad, but no Korean Embassy staff were hurt.

      Earlier the same day, two rockets were fired at a nearby area. And on March 31, a local elementary school only 70 m from the embassy was destroyed by a rocket attack, according to Lee Hae-kwang, a councilor at the embassy. "We were recently warned by Iraqi authorities quoting an intelligence report that armed insurgents will attack foreigners, staffers of foreign embassies in particular, in retaliation for Bin Laden."

      Also on Sunday night, the Korean PRT base in the Afghan province of Parwan was targeted in another rocket attack. The rocket exploded in midair, leaving no casualties. The base has suffered three rocket attacks since Bin Laden's death.

      Four rockets landed in and outside the base on May 5, and another outside the base last Saturday. Afghan police are still investigating.

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