Iraq

US-Led Coalition Contractor Killed In Iraq Rocket Attack

Several other people were injured, including one United States military service member.

A contractor working for the American-led coalition in Iraq has been killed in a rocket attack.

Several other people were injured, including one United States military service member.

It has been confirmed that the contractor who died was not a US citizen.

Rockets struck outside an airport near where US forces are based in northern Iraq late on Monday.

At least three rockets hit areas between the civilian Irbil international airport in the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, and the nearby base hosting US troops.

At least two civilians were also wounded and the rockets damaged cars and other property, security officials said.

A statement from Kurdistan's Interior Ministry said "several people" had been injured based on a preliminary investigation.

The rockets were launched from an area south of Irbil near the border with Kirkuk province and fell on some residential areas close to the airport.

Iraqi President Barham Saleh condemned the attack, saying in a statement posted online that it marked a "dangerous escalation".

Kurdish authorities cautioned Irbil residents to stay away from targeted areas and remain in their homes.

In a later statement, a Shiite militant group said it was responsible for the attack.

The group said it had fired 24 rockets that evaded the airport's defences, specifically naming an automatic machine gun known as a C-Ram that protects American installations in Iraq.

The rocket attack comes after the number of US troops in Iraq, and Afghanistan, was reduced to 2,500 in each country last month.

According to the British Army, there is currently 400 British troops in Iraq from both Duke of Lancaster's Regiment and the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Cover image: Scenes in Irbil following the attack (Picture: Reuters).