No New Zealanders injured after reports of attack in Iraq – Ardern
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said no New Zealanders based in Taji Camp in Iraq have been injured, after reports of a mortar attack nearby.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressing the media after announcing that NZ and France will lead global efforts to try to end the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism. Photo: RNZ/Dan Cook
Up to 95 troops are training Iraqi security forces in the complex, about 30km north of Baghdad.
Reuters reports two mortar shells came down in the Iraqi section of the sprawling Taji military base.
"The advice I've received is there were no New Zealand casualties," Ms Ardern said.
"I'm also advised from time to time we do have rockets in the vicinity of Camp Taji and of course while that is not something you ever want to get used to hearing, particularly when it's in the vicinity of New Zealanders who are deployed, that's the reality of the environment they're working in."
She had no details on who might be responsible, nor could she say how close the mortars landed to the part of the camp occupied by the New Zealand and Australian troops.
The attack would have no impact on the New Zealand deployment "at this stage", Ms Ardern said, beyond the decision to end the mission in 2020.
The government will gradually reduce the size of the Iraq deployment, before withdrawing altogether mid next year.