Supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have set fire to part of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headquarters in the Karrada district of Baghdad on Saturday, October 17. Security forces have deployed to the scene and have closed roads in the vicinity of the office. The protest is ongoing and reports suggest that an Iraqi news reporter and a photographer have been abducted during the protest. The unrest was reportedly provoked by statements by Hoshyar Zebari, a member of the KDP and former Deputy Prime Minister, who called for the removal of the PMF from the Baghdad International Zone.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of the protest in the immediate term.
Those in Baghdad are advised to closely monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large public gatherings, anticipate disruptions to transportation and services in areas affected by demonstrations, 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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