Approved ~~ MJM
Dozens of Iraqi Shiite militia supporters– many in uniforms– gained entry to the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday after they smashed down a gate and stormed inside, the Associated Press reported.
An AP reporter at the scene saw flames rising from inside the compound and at least three U.S. soldiers on the roof of the embassy. The embassy was evacuated but it was not immediately clear if there were staffers holed up inside.
Hundreds of Iraqis attempted earlier to storm the compound after holding funerals for the25 fighters from an Iran-backed Shiite militia killed in U.S. airstrikes earlier this week, the Associated Press reported.
Reporters for the AP described a chaotic scene on the ground and reported that the crowd shouted, “Down, down USA!”
Two Iraqi foreign ministry officials told Reuters that the U.S. ambassador and staff have been evacuated. A man on a loudspeaker urged the mob not to enter the compound, saying: “The message was delivered.”