Middle East

UAE flights to Baghdad suspended plane attacked

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Airlines from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have issued a ban on flights to the Iraqi capital after an airliner was targeted by gunfire while approaching Baghdad.

Dubai Aviation Corporation, FlyDubai, said that Flight FZ215 was hit by “small arms fire” before landing at Baghdad International Airport from Dubai on Monday evening.

The fuselage of the plane carrying 154 passengers was damaged but nobody was injured in the attack.

“All the passengers disembarked normally through the jet bridge. No medical attention was required at the airport,” FlyDubai said in a statement.

According to the airliner, a replacement aircraft was flown to Iraq to carry passengers back to Dubai.

Following the attack, FlyDubai, Emirates Airlines, Sharjah’s Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways suspended flights to Baghdad.

Etihad Airways said the decision was in line with a UAE General Civil Aviation Authority ban on operation to and from Baghdad on security grounds.

“The safety of our customers and employees is always our first priority,” said the airliner in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the authorities and monitor the security situation before recommencing scheduled services to Baghdad.”

Dubai’s Emirates Airline also said that it was committed to its customers in Iraq, and hoped to resume services to Baghdad “as soon as operational conditions allow us to do so.”

The ban took effect from January 26 and will be in place until further notice.

An investigation into the incident is currently underway.

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