Suspected Islamic State (IS) militants killed at least ten Iraqi militia members in an overnight assault (local time) in the Saladin province on Friday, May 1. Six Popular Mobilisation Forces members were killed by direct fire in the village of Mekeeshfa, about 95 km (60 mi) north of Baghdad. A further three were killed by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) whilst they were responding to reports of the initial gunfire. A tenth militia member was killed in nearby Tal al-Dahab. It remains unclear at this time whether IS have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in the province over the coming days. Further attacks cannot be ruled out.
Iraq declared victory over IS in December 2017 after a three-year military campaign against it; however, IS militants continue to carry out attacks, notably against security forces, and there has been a series of attacks in recent weeks. High-profile attacks often prompt equally significant security responses, including enhanced checkpoint operations and more proactive operations, with resulting effects on transit.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to 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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