Roadside bombing targets British diplomatic vehicles in Baghdad

A roadside bombing has targeted British diplomatic vehicles in Baghdad, the British Embassy and Iraqi officials said.

There were no injuries but the attack fuelled concerns over armed groups outside of the state’s control.

The attack targeted an embassy convoy on a road close to the Umm al-Tabool Mosque, the British Embassy and Iraqi security officials said. No one immediately claimed the bombing.

The roads and the area of the attack, between the airport and the heavily fortified Green Zone, are often used by diplomatic missions, the Iraqi official said.

“The safety and security of our staff is of paramount importance and we are in close touch with the Iraqi authorities,” said a statement from the British Embassy.

The Green Zone is home to the seat of Iraq’s government and many foreign embassies, including those of the UK and the US.

The attack – the first in months to target a diplomatic convoy – comes amid near daily rocket attacks aimed at the Green Zone and Iraqi army bases hosting US troops. Rocket attacks have rarely led to significant losses.

Tuesday’s bombing is the third attack in the last 24 hours against foreign missions.

Two rockets were fired at the Green Zone late on Monday but caused no casualties. One was intercepted by the US embassy’s C-RAM defence system, two Iraqi security officials said.

Earlier on Monday, a roadside bomb targeted a convoy of vehicles carrying equipment for Americans on the main route in Babylon province, south of Baghdad.

The rocket attacks surged when prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi travelled to the US last month to conclude strategic talks. They have put pressure on his administration, which has promised to rein in armed groups acting outside state authority.

The latest attacks came as Mr al-Kadhimi introduced sweeping administrative changes, including naming a new governor of Iraq’s Central Bank, which provoked criticism from some political blocs.