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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Militant Group Claims Responsibility for Attack on Iraqi Green Zone

By Jessica Desvarieux
16 September 2009

Iraqi forces have detained, questioned and released three people in connection with Tuesday's deadly rocket attack in Baghdad. The attack that killed two civilians occurred during the second day of a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Biden is in Iraq, meeting with officials in Baghdad on a broad spectrum of issues. But analysts say the talks are likely focused on plans for January elections and the ongoing violence in the country.

Iraqi and U.S. forces have detained three militants suspected of carrying out Tuesday's mortar attack on Baghdad's Green Zone government district. Iraqi police say two civilians outside the Green Zone died in the attack. The Iraqi insurgent group Mujahideen Army is claiming responsibility for the violence.

In a statement posted on a jihadist website, the Mujahideen Army say the rockets were fired into the heavily fortified Green Zone as a "reception" for Mr. Biden. They urged him to deliver a message to President Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq.

According to U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which surveys jihadist websites, the language specifically mentions Mr. Biden.

Although the Sunni insurgent group's claim cannot be verified, the Mujahideen Army has claimed responsibility for previous attacks. In January, it took credit for an attack on a U.S. base in the city of Taji.

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