April 15th, 2010
01:17 AM ET

Iraq closes airport, changes flight paths over threats

Key Iraqi officials traveled to the holy city of Najaf  Wednesday, a week after closing the airport there "as a precautionary measure."

Sheikh Fayyad al-Shimari, head of the Najaf provincial council, and other officials downplayed reports of a security threat.

"There were talks concerning some security threats in Najaf," he said. "Those threats are not new to the province."

Al-Shimari pointed out that Najaf was one of the first provinces to be handed over to Iraqi authorities and had been very stable both politically and in terms of security since that time.

But, he said, "We will increase the security measures in order to assure the officials in the province and in the federal government."

Transportation Minister Aamer Abdul Jabbar, Defense Minister Abdul Al-Qadir Jassam and National security adviser Muwafaq al-Rubai made the trip to Najaf, about 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad and home to one of Shia Islam's holiest shrines, the Imam Ali Mosque, where the grandson of the prophet Muhammad is buried.

At a news conference broadcast by state-run Iraqiya TV, Jabbar said the threat did not present a danger.

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Filed under: Air travel • Iraq
soundoff (One Response)
  1. zamustafa

    There is an error in the stsement below in your report.
    "..... the Imam Ali Mosque, where the grandson of the prophet Muhammad is buried......."

    1. Imam Ali IS NOT the grandson of the prohet as imlpied in your report.
    2. The grandson of the prophet is Imam Hussain and his shrine is in another city called Karbala, several miles away from Najaf.

    Please have your news editor verify the accuracy of information published on your home page and read by millions.


    April 15, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |