Foreign ministry asks Indians to avoid travel to Iraq
With tension escalating in Iraq, the Ministry of External Affairs or MEA has issued an advisory asking Indian nationals to avoid all travel to Iraq.
In a travel advisory, the MEA says that ‘in view of the precarious situation prevailing in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all travel until further notification.’
The advisory has also added that Indian nationals in Iraq may consider leaving the country by commercial means if it is safe to do so.
Iraq is currently under attack by militants, spearheaded by the powerful Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group. Four people were killed and nine injured in a car bomb explosion on Sunday.
According to the advisory, nationals living in areas affected by the ongoing armed conflict have been advised to stay indoors and to remain in contact with the Indian embassy in Baghdad for necessary advice. Also those nationals who do not have appropriate documents have been advised to contact the embassy as soon as possible.
Hundreds of Iraqis are volunteering to join the security forces to fight Islamic militants. The mobilisation took on a sectarian dimension and threatens to intensify the Sunni-Shiite issues in the country and push Iraq back toward a civil war in the worst crisis since US forces withdrew at the end of 2011.
A 24- hour helpline has been setup for Indian for advise and assistance in Iraq. Helpline numbers: +964 770 444 4899, +964 770 484 3247’