BAGHDAD (AP) – An improvised explosive device blew up outside an English-language institute in southern Iraq early yesterday without causing any casualties, Iraqi police said in a statement, amid a recent uptick in attacks targetting the American presence in Iraq.
The blast damaged the facade of the American Institute for English Learning in the holy city of Najaf, a statement from the province’s police directorate said.
The school is not formally affiliated with any institutions in the United States (US). It was believed to to have been targetted because it offered English-language lessons to Iraqis. No Americans were employed there.
Attacks targetting the US presence have been on the rise since Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi travelled to Washington last month to conclude strategic talks.
Rocket attacks routinely target the heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of the Iraqi government, where the US Embassy is located.