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Two KFC outlets attacked in Baghdad over Gaza war, police sources say

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Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants were attacked in Baghdad over the past 48 hours, causing damage but no injuries, and Iraqi security forces arrested some suspects, the interior ministry and police sources said on Monday.

A Federal police vehicle is parked near a KFC fast food restaurant following an attack in Baghdad, May 27, 2024. Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani

Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants were attacked in Baghdad over the past 48 hours, causing damage but no injuries, and Iraqi security forces arrested some suspects, the interior ministry and police sources said on Monday.

Initial investigations showed that the restaurants were targeted over the perceived support of U.S.-based brands for Israel amid the war in the Gaza Strip, police sources said.

The first attack took place early on Sunday when two men on a motorcycle threw a make-shift bomb at a branch of the American fried chicken chain restaurant in eastern Baghdad's Palestine Street, causing minor damage, police sources said.

On Monday, another KFC Baghdad branch and a second American-style restaurant were attacked by group of masked men who broke into the restaurants and used sticks to smash glass and destroy furniture.

They fled before the arrival of security forces, police sources said.

KFC did not immediately comment on the attacks.

The interior ministry did not elaborate on the motives behind the attacks and said a police commander and other officers responsible for the areas where the attacks occurred had been detained and faced punitive measures.

Western brands have been hit by boycotts and other forms of protest by a largely spontaneous, grassroots campaign over Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip since the deadly Hamas attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The actions reflect a groundswell of anger over Israel's military operation that has killed more than 35,000 people in Gaza, according to health authorities there, and caused a humanitarian crisis.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed

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