US cautions embassy personnel in Iraq

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Baghdad, Aug 10 (IANS) The US embassy in Iraq has limited the movement of its personnel in Baghdad and Basra over security threats against American citizens.

“US Embassy Baghdad is aware of reports of threats to target American government officials and other civilians for kidnapping,” the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.

In response, the embassy has temporarily restricted movement of its employees outside of the international zone (Green Zone) in Baghdad, as well as outside of US Consulate Basra, the statement said.

It said that US citizens are at “high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence in Iraq”.

The embassy advised the US citizens “to take appropriate measures to enhance their personal security at all times when living and working in Iraq”, according to the statement.

The embassy did not give further details about the source of such threats.

The US embassy is located in the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the main offices of the Iraqi government and many foreign embassies.

The roughly 10 sq.km zone is located on the west bank of the Tigris River, which bisects the Iraqi capital.

–IANS

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