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The killings have been confirmed by Iran Guards.
Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed late on Thursday in an airstrike on their convoy in Baghdad airport, an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters.
“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed militias.
According to sources cited by the Lebanese channel Al Mayadeen, the explosions occurred in the vicinity of an Iraqi Air Force base, west of Baghdad. Al Arabiya reports that 12 Iraqi soldiers have been injured in the attack.
After the attack, several vehicles were seen on fire near the airport. The sirens sounded in the airport area after the noise of the explosions was heard, witnesses say. It is also reported that American helicopters flew over the airport area.
Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called the move a “dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region” in a statement on Sunday, while Iraqi caretaker President Barham Salih also joined in condemning the attack.