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Three killed in rocket attack on Iraq base

A US official said 10 people were injured in the attack.


Two US soldiers were killed in an attack in Iraq (Ben Birchall/PA)

Two US soldiers were killed in an attack in Iraq (Ben Birchall/PA)

Two US soldiers were killed in an attack in Iraq (Ben Birchall/PA)

Three service personnel have been killed, including two Americans, and a dozen more injured when a barrage of rockets were fired at a military base in Iraq.

US officials said five service members were seriously wounded and evacuated from the Camp Taji base and seven others were still being evaluated. Buildings on the base were in flames.

Army Colonel Myles Caggins, a US military spokesman in Iraq, said on Twitter that more than 15 small rockets hit the base.

Camp Taji, located just north of Baghdad, has been used as a training base for a number of years.

There are as many as 6,000 US troops in Iraq, training and advising Iraqi forces and conducting counter-terror missions.

Officials did not say what group they believe launched the rocket attack, but Kataib Hezbollah or another Iranian-backed Shia militia group is likely.

Kataib Hezbollah was responsible for a late December rocket attack on a military base in Kirkuk that killed a US contractor, prompting American military strikes in response.

That in turn led to protests at the US embassy in Baghdad.

They were followed on January 3 by a US air strike that killed Iran’s most powerful military officer, General Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a leader of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq, of which Kataib Hezbollah is a member.

Kataib Hezbollah has been designated a “foreign terrorist organisation” by the State Department since 2009.

Later on Wednesday, Syrian opposition activists and a war monitor reported an air strike that targeted Iranian militia positions along the Iraq-Syria border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 10 air strikes carried out by three unidentified aircraft that targeted pro-Iran militias in the Boukamal region in eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq.

The Britain-based Observatory which monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground said at least 10 explosions were heard in the region.

US officials said the strike was not related to the Taji base strike.