American, Iraqi Wounded in Rocket Attack on Base in Kirkuk

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Two combat engineers work into dusk dismantling the Light-weight Counter Mortar Radar system at Contingency Operating Location K1, Kirkuk province, Iraq, July 24, 2011. (U.S. Army/Sgt. David Strayer)
Two combat engineers work into dusk dismantling the Light-weight Counter Mortar Radar system at Contingency Operating Location K1, Kirkuk province, Iraq, July 24, 2011. (U.S. Army/Sgt. David Strayer)

IRBIL, Iraq -- A U.S. contractor and an Iraqi federal police officer were wounded in a rocket attack that struck a munitions storage facility on a coalition base in northern Iraq Friday evening, a security official said.

The Iraqi government confirmed the attack had taken place in a statement posted to Facebook.

"A number of missiles" fell inside the Kirkuk base, the Iraq Security Information Cell statement said. "We will provide details later."

Initially, an estimated 10 rockets were thought to have hit the K1 base in Kirkuk, but that number was determined to likely be incorrect, said the official who was not authorized to speak officially on the matter and declined to be named. Several of the blasts appeared to have come from the stored munitions.

The rockets struck as a major Iraqi mission was preparing to get underway, the official said.

Barzan Sadiq, a journalist for the local outlet Kurdistan24, tweeted shortly before 8 p.m. that two mortars had struck base.

The U.S.-led coalition did not immediately respond to an inquiry on the matter.

U.S. troops have curtailed some operations in Iraq in recent months over concerns of a heightened threat of attack from Iranian proxy groups who operate in the country.

In early November, a coalition base in Iraq's northern Nineveh province was hit with a barrage of more than 30 rockets fired from a truck about two-thirds of a mile from a base used by a Shiite militia group, officials at Qayara Airfield West told Stars and Stripes this week.

In that incident, the U.S. located the source of the attack and fired on it with Howitzers, officials said.

It is unclear if coalition forces responded to the attack Friday night.

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