Several countries divert, cancel flights to Iraq’s Najaf in wake of protests

AirExplore charter aircraft, operating Iraqi Airways Flight IA264 to Erbil is pictured during take off at Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Najaf ( Three countries, including two Arab ones, have diverted or canceled its flights heading to the Najaf International Airport due to the security situations there, in the wake of protests staged against corruption, unemployment and poor services.

Each of Iran, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have announced canceling or diverting flights heading Najaf on Sunday.

Statements by FlyDubai, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Iran Air said the flights heading Najaf were canceled or diverted for ones heading to the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Four flights were operated weekly to Najaf airport by the Jordanian Airlines.

On Saturday, Kuwaiti airlines announced canceling flights heading to Najaf until further notice citing security reasons.

Hundreds of Iraqis stormed on Friday Najaf airport and halted the aviation to and from the airport within ongoing escalation for few days, before the airport authorities declare normal work there.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered security forces to be on high alert and imposed curfew in several southern provinces.

Several civilians as well as security personnel were wounded in clashes with armed people, who attacked the protesters in Maysan province.

Two protesters were reportedly killed in Najaf on Saturday as members of the Shiite militia of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq were shot at the demonstrations.

Issues with internet services were reported across the protests-hit regions.

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