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The New Arab

Middle East airlines limit Iraq flights following unrest

Najaf and Basra have seen unrest following protests [AFP]

Date of publication: 16 July, 2018

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Airlines in the Middle East and elsewhere have limited flights to cities such as Najaf following protests and unrest in Iraq.
Unrest in Iraq has forced a number of airlines in the Middle East to cut flights to troubled cities in the country, including Najaf and Basra.

Protests in southern Iraq entered a second week on Monday, with anger erupted over the government's inability to tackle unemployment and basic services.

Two people were killed in Basra on Sunday, following an incident outside the governor's headquarters, while on Friday protesters stormed Najaf's airport.

The tense security situation has led airlines such as FlyDubai, Emirates, Royal Jordanian, Oman Air, and Kuwait Airways to cancel some flights to Iraq.

Iranian airlines have also suspended some routes to cities affected by the unrest, such as Najaf and Basra.

Two FlyDubai flights to Najaf - FZ221 and FZ222 - were cancelled "due to disruption on the ground at Najaf Airport until 22nd July 2018", the group said in a statement.

Protests erupted in Iraq on 8 July, when young protesters took to the streets in Basra to complain at a lack of job opportunities, under-investment and a lack of basic government services, including electricity and water.

One person was killed when security forces opened fire on the crowd. 

Others were killed and injured in the days that followed with gunmen opening fire on protesters, and demonstrations turning violent.


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