U.S. contractor killed, service members wounded in rocket attack on Iraq base

The attack reportedly involved as many as 30 rockets fired into the base, which is hosting coalition troops.

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By Phil Helsel and The Associated Press

A U.S. civilian contractor was killed and several service members and Iraqi personnel injured Friday in a rocket attack on a base in Iraq, military officials said.

The attack on the base in Kirkuk occurred Friday morning, said Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, which is tasked with fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The base is hosting coalition troops, the military said in a statement.

Kirkuk is in the northeastern part of the country, south of Erbil.

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The name of the person killed was not immediately released. The military said Iraqi security forces were leading the response and investigation.

The Associated Press, citing anonymous officials, reported that as many as 30 rockets were fired into the military base.

Security forces found a launchpad for Katyusha rockets inside an abandoned vehicle near the base, Reuters reported, citing security sources.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack, but the AP reported that such attacks have occurred on several occasions over the past few months.

Iraq has been roiled since Oct. 1 by protests that have left more than 450 people dead, the vast majority of them demonstrators killed by security forces firing tear gas and live ammunition.

Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, announced in late November that he would resign following the protests. His announcement came a day after more than 40 protesters were killed.

The Defense Department said recently that about 5,200 troops are stationed in Iraq.

Reuters contributed.