On the afternoon (local time) of Friday, July 13, demonstrators broke into Al Najaf International Airport (NJF) , which serves Najaf city. The protest was likely related to a wave of demonstrations that broke out nationwide on Friday, July 6, over ongoing electricity shortages. According to reports, the protesters temporarily blocked access to and from the airport terminal. As of 23:00 (local time), the demonstrators appeared to have left the airport. Nevertheless, Iraqi civil aviation authorities have temporarily suspended flights to and from NJF. Anticipate a heightened security presence at NJF, and at other airports throughout Iraq in the coming hours and days. Further protests, as well as and confrontations between security forces and protesters, cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, demonstrations also broke out on Friday in Basra (Basra governorate) and Maysan governorate. In Basra, demonstrations broke out when protesters blocked access to the nearby Umm Qasr port, according to local sources. Violent protests were also reported on Friday evening in Maysan governorate. Unconfirmed reports indicate that one person was killed, and at least ten more injured during the protest.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. Travelers flying to or from NJF should contact their airline for additional information.
The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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