Middle East

Scud missile fired in Syria lands near Iraqi village: mayor

Syrian Kurds wait on the Iraqi bank of the river Tigris to be transported by a boat to Syria, which is across the river, on the Iraqi-Syrian border near the Dohuk province, February 2, 2013. (REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

MOSUL, Iraq: A Scud missile fired from Syrian territory landed near a village in Iraq's Nineveh province on Friday, causing no damage but terrifying its inhabitants who fled, the mayor said, identifying the rocket as Russian-made.

The conflict in neigbouring Syria has previously spilled over the border into Iraq. In September, a five-year-old girl was killed when three rockets struck a border town in the al Qaim area.

"A Russian-made Scud landed near the village of Yoush Tapa, 3 km from the Iraqi-Syrian border between Telafar and Baaj," said Abdul Aal Abbas, the mayor of Telafar.

"There were no casualities or damage, but it created fear among the Turkuman population of that village and they fled their houses".

Nineveh governorate spokesman Qahtan Sami said security forces had also said the rocket was of Russian provenance.

Iraq's precarious sectarian and ethnic balance has already come under strain from the conflict nextdoor, where mainly Sunni Muslim insurgents are fighting to overthrow a ruler backed by Shiite Iran, an ally of the Baghdad government.

Sunni opposition to the Shiite-led government has been swelling and increasing violence in recent months is stoking concerns the country may slip into intercommunal strife.





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