At least five people died and 16 others were wounded in a car bomb blast targeting a commercial center in Tikrit (Saladin province) on Sunday, November 18. The explosion set multiple cars on fire and security forces reportedly closed several streets in the city center. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Although it is immediately unclear who perpetrated the attack, Islamic State (IS) militants are active in the vicinity of Tikrit.
While 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 western and northern Iraq, and IS militants continue to carry out attacks on security forces and Shi'a communities. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations, and more proactive operations, with resulting effects on transit.
Individuals in Tikrit are advised to avoid the affected area, 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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