The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack at a security checkpoint in the Al-Qaim district of Anbar province on Wednesday, August 29. At least 11 people were killed and another 12 wounded in the blast; according to Iraqi officials, the death toll may rise in the coming hours and days as several people remain in critical condition as of Wednesday evening (local time). Following the incident, local authorities have imposed a curfew in Al-Qaim district. Additional attacks cannot be ruled out in the area over the coming days and weeks.
Although Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi claimed victory over the Islamic State (IS) in December 2017, the group retains a degree of freedom of movement in parts of the country, particularly in northern and western Iraq. IS militants continue to carry out attacks, notably against security forces. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations and more proactive operations, with resulting effects on transit.
Individuals in Anbar province, particularly in the abovementioned areas, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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