Two children wounded by rockets fired at Iraq parliament Speaker Halbousi's home

Attack comes hours after country's top court confirmed his re-election

Iraqi Speaker Mohammed Al Halbousi, centre, was the target of the attack but it was not clear if he was at home at the time. Reuters
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Two children were wounded on Tuesday night when rockets were fired towards the home of Iraq's speaker of parliament Mohammed Al Halbousi.

Three Katyusha rockets landed about 500 metres from the home of Mr Al Halbousi in the Gurma district of Anbar province, west of Baghdad, a security official told AFP.

The attack came hours after Iraq's top court confirmed his re-election as speaker.

Mr Al Halbousi was the target of the attack but it was not clear if he was at home at the time, the official said.

The wounded children were "taken to hospital in Gurma", Iraqi police said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The UN called the attack a "cowardly" attempt at creating chaos in the country.

"We urge authorities to intensify efforts to prevent such acts and apprehend perpetrators. Calm and restraint must prevail to thwart attempts to destabilise," it said on Wednesday morning.

Iraq's top court confirmed the re-election of Mr Al Halbousi as parliamentary speaker on Tuesday, following appeals against its conduct, paving the way towards the formation of a new government.

Two politicians had appealed against his re-election during parliament's opening session earlier in January, which was overshadowed by disputes between rival blocs from the Shiite majority.

The position of speaker of parliament has been historically reserved for Iraq's Sunni Arab minority.

Appeal rejected

"The Federal Supreme Court rejected the appeal of two MPs who demanded the annulment of the inaugural session of parliament on January 9," in which Mr Al Halbousi was re-elected, said presiding judge Jassim Aboud.

The ruling will allow the resumption of parliamentary sessions and, along with them, deliberations over the selection of a new president, who will in turn choose the next prime minister for approval by the legislature.

Politicians have until February 8 to elect a president – a post historically allocated to a Kurd.

But negotiations between parties and coalitions seeking to form a parliamentary majority have been marked by tension, particularly between key Shiite blocs seeking to exert their influence.

Updated: January 26, 2022, 9:24 AM