A bomb attack killed at least five police officers and wounded several others in Hawija district (Kirkuk province) on Tuesday, September 18. Islamic State (IS) militants are suspected of carrying out the bombing, which reportedly targeted a bus transporting police officers in the village of Azerban as it traveled along the Kirkuk-Salah Al-Din highway. Similar bomb attacks are possible in the area in the near-term.
Although Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed victory over 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 are advised to avoid the area of the attack, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to any 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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