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India issues fresh travel advisory asking citizens to not visit 5 provinces in Iraq

Indian nationals have been advised not to travel to Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk as they "remain unsafe" due to the prevailing security situation, the advisory said. It also asked Indians planning to visit Iraq to inform the Indian Embassy in Baghdad or Consulate General in Erbil prior to travelling to the country.

PTI|
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2020, 11.49 PM IST
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AFP
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Avoid travelling to Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk
NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday issued a fresh travel advisory cautioning citizens against visiting large parts of Iraq in view of the deteriorating security situation. In the advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs has asked Indian citizens to specifically avoid travelling to Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk which witnessed escalation in tension in the wake of fresh attacks by ISIS terrorists.

Indian nationals have been advised not to travel to these five provinces as they "remain unsafe" due to the prevailing security situation, the advisory said.

"Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for employment and already having work permits and appropriate visas may return to their jobs in the safe areas in Iraq other than those listed as unsafe areas," it said.

It also asked Indians planning to visit Iraq to inform the Indian Embassy in Baghdad or Consulate General in Erbil prior to travelling to the country.

"Indian nationals wishing to travel for religious purposes, and having appropriate visa and return air-ticket, may also travel for pilgrimage to the holy places of Najaf and Karbala.

"They should not extend their religious pilgrimage to neighbouring Syria and not travel by road from Iraq to Syria or vice-versa," the advisory said.

India had issued a travel advisory on June 15, 2014, cautioning Indian nationals to avoid visiting Iraq in the wake of the precarious situation then developing in the country after the ISIS terrorists had taken over large Iraqi territories.

As the security situation improved, another travel advisory was issued on February 4 last year allowing Indian nationals to consider travelling to the country except the five provinces.

Another advisory was issued on January 8 cautioning Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Iraq in view of escalation of tension.

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