May 23, 2016 / 10:24 AM / 2 years ago

Three mortar shells land near Baghdad's Green Zone, no casualties

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Three mortars shells landed near Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone overnight, the first such attack close to the cluster of embassies and government buildings in more than a year, authorities said.

No group claimed responsibility for the assault which caused no casualties and coincided with an announcement of a government offensive to dislodge Islamic State from the city of Falluja, just west of the capital.

The rounds were fired from al-Qanat street, in eastern Baghdad, and fell in the Karrada district, less than 1km (mile) from the Green Zone, on the opposite side of the Tigris river, according to a military statement and a police officer.

Anti-corruption protesters have breached the Green Zone twice in the past month and stormed into parliament and the cabinet office, raising questions about the government’s ability to maintain security in the capital as it fights Islamic State in northern and western provinces.

The Green Zone was regularly targeted by mortars during the U.S. occupation of Iraq that ended in 2011.

Reporting by Saif Hameed; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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