Mortars fired as Biden arrives in Baghdad
Gunmen fired several mortars at Baghdad's fortified Green Zone government district on Tuesday shortly after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived to meet Iraqi leaders. According to Reuters, Iraqi police said two out of four suspected mortar rounds landed near the American embassy compound in the Green Zone, but did not hit it. Biden had met with the U.S. ambassador, Chris Hill, and the senior U.S. military commander, General Ray Odierno, just before the mortar strikes.
Biden was safe in an undisclosed location, aides said.
A briefing for journalists by Hill and Odierno was interrupted by the sound of blasts.
It was Biden's second trip to Iraq in three months.
After his meeting with Hill and Odierno, Biden said a national election in January was the key to resolving those differences. "I think a successful election is the necessary condition for those outstanding political questions to be resolved ... most of the parties ... feel the same way," Biden said.