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12 wounded in clashes after KFC attacked in Baghdad

The riot was at least the third such incident in the past 10 days, after a senior Iran-backed militia official called to "boycott and expel" U.S. brands.

KFC logo. Credit: Pixabay.
KFC logo. Credit: Pixabay.

Twelve Iraqis were wounded on Monday, including three by live fire, as security forces attempted to disperse rioters who had attacked a KFC in Baghdad, Reuters reported.

The fast-food outlet suffered damage, but no staff or customers were injured, according to the report.

The riot, which targeted the KFC on the city’s Palestine Street, was at least the third such incident in the past 10 days, and reportedly came after a senior official in the Iran-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia called on Iraqis to “boycott and expel” U.S. brands.

Reuters reported on May 27 that two KFC restaurants were attacked in Baghdad in the previous 48 hours, causing damage but no injuries.

An initial probe found that those outlets were targeted over the perceived support of U.S.-based brands for Israel amid the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The KFC brand is owned by U.S.-based Yum! Brands.

Kata’ib Hezbollah, which the United States has designated a foreign terrorist organization since 2009, is an Iraq-based militia force that is part of Iran’s “axis of resistance” of proxies that has carried out more than 100 attacks on U.S. forces around the region since Oct. 7.

In response, the U.S. military has intermittently struck the militia’s facilities in Iraq and Syria.

In April, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone strike that damaged a naval base building in the southern Israeli city of Eilat. The UAV was launched from Iraq and entered Israeli territory from Jordan.

The umbrella group of Iranian-backed radical Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria is composed of Kata’ib Hezbollah, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhadaa.

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