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February 15, 2021 5:41 pm

Rockets Land Near Erbil Airport, Three Wounded, Say Iraqi Kurdish Security Sources

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Smoke rises over the Erbil, after reports of mortar shells landing near Erbil airport, Iraq February 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

At least three rockets landed near Erbil International Airport in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, wounding three people, Kurdish Peshmerga sources said on Monday.

A statement from the Kurdish interior ministry said a number of rockets were fired towards Erbil and its outskirts around 9:30 p.m. local time and some people were wounded, but it offered no further details.

Kurdish security officials said earlier that at least three mortars were used in the attack. Initial investigation showed later that remains of the projectiles that landed in some areas were from rockets, the officials said.

A Reuters reporter heard several blasts and saw a fire blazing for a few minutes in the vicinity of the airport.

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One security official said the total number of rockets fired was five.

It was not immediately clear if a US military base housing US troops near the airport was the target of the attack.

Security officials said the Erbil airport was shut down and flights were halted for safety issues.

One of the shells fell near a residential area and three people were wounded, Kurdish security officials said.

Video footage broadcast on local television showed damaged vehicles and shattered glass covering an area where one mortar shell fell.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Sept. 30, six Katyusha rockets fell near Erbil airport, an attack which the Iraqi Kurdistan’s counterterrorism service blamed on Iran-backed Iraqi Shi’ite militia groups.

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