A rocket fired Sunday night at the Japanese military camp in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah damaged a facility but did not explode, a government source in Tokyo said Monday. No one was injured.
The damage marks the first time an enemy weapon has caused measurable damage since Ground Self-Defense Force troops arrived in January. Defense Agency officials said earlier that there were no reports of damage.
The damage caused by the unidentified group also signals a deterioration of the security situation in Samawah.
The rocket landed at around 10 p.m. local time, the source said. Although it didn’t explode, GSDF workers piled sandbags around it as a safety precaution, the source said.
An unarmed rocket landed in the camp on Oct. 22. Because the rocket lacked a fuse, government officials took it as a warning to Japan rather than a serious attack, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Whether the latest rocket had a fuse was not known as of Monday night, the source said, adding that other details, such as the kind of facility that was damaged, were also unknown.
Since April 29, six mortars and rockets have reportedly landed near the GSDF camp, and the last two have landed within the compound, which covers an area of 900 sq. meters.
The roughly 600 troops at the camp have been engaging in humanitarian work to rebuild infrastructure damaged in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
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