Amid escalation in violence in Iraq, India on Sunday asked its citizens not to travel to the troubled-torn country and set up a 24-hour helpline to offer assistance to those living there.
Shakir Waheib, a senior member of the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), left, next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province. (AP Photo)
The government also asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the "precarious" security situation there.
"In view of the precarious security situation prevailing in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all travel to Iraq," the external affairs ministry (MEA) said.
The Indian embassy in Baghdad has set up a 24-hour helpline which can be accessed for information or assistance.
The MEA also said "Indian nationals in Iraq may consider leaving the country by commercial means if it is safe to do so."
It also asked Indians living in violence-affected areas in Iraq to remain indoors and remain in contact with Indian embassy in Baghdad.
"Those nationals who do not have travel documents or need other consular services are advised to seek assistance from the Indian Embassy in Baghdad," the MEA said.
The MEA has given the following phone numbers for those who need any assistance -Tel. No. +964 770 444 4899; +964 770 444 4899 (Mobile), Tel No. +964 770 484 3247; +964 770 484 3247 (Mobile).