Iraq Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Oct 16, 2005

This Public Announcement advises Americans of the steps announced by the Iraqi government for the period before and after the October 15 Constitutional Referendum, as well as the Department of State's concerns about the security environment surrounding the upcoming referendum. This Public Announcement supplements the Travel Warning of June 28, 2005, and expires on November 14, 2005.

The Government of Iraq has declared a holiday for the four days from October 13 (Thursday) through October 16 (Sunday), including Referendum Day, October 15 (Saturday). Government ministries and offices will be closed during this entire period. During this four-day period, there will be a curfew, meaning that no travel or movement will be permitted during evening and night hours. The exact hours of the curfew will be announced by the Government of Iraq at a later time. There may be restrictions on vehicle movement during non-curfew hours, which will also be announced later. During this four-day period, airports will be closed for commercial passenger flights. All land border crossings with neighboring countries also will be closed.

During this period, the potential for increased violence remains extremely high. The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq and remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests in Iraq. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. In the lead-up to the referendum, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has instructed official Americans throughout Iraq to limit their travel as much as possible. The Department of State recommends that all Americans living and working in Iraq take similar steps to limit their movements, observe the strictest of security measures, and defer any unnecessary travel around the country.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present, travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Public Announcement and the current Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. All Americans in Iraq are strongly encouraged to register with the Embassy at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/home.asp.

American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by calling the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, at: 1-240-553-0584, ext. 5340 or ext. 5635, or Iraqna cellular phones: 7901-732-134 or 7901-168-383 or by E-mail: usconsulbaghdad@state.gov or via the U.S. Embassy's website: http://iraq.usembassy.gov. In the event of an extreme emergency after hours, please call - 1-914-822-5493.

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Iraq, the current Worldwide Caution and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov.

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