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Gazette Premium Content Dubai, European airlines divert flights over Iraq

Associated Press Updated: July 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm

BAGHDAD (AP) — European and Dubai-based airlines have begun rerouting flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution, though Iraq says its skies are safe.

An Emirates Airline spokesperson in Dubai told The Associated Press on Monday it will divert planes that use Iraqi airspace. A number of European carriers, including Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France also say they will do the same.

This follows the crash of a Malaysia Airlines flight over rebel-held Ukraine.

Iraq is facing a security crisis after militants with the extremist Islamic State group captured large swaths of northern and western Iraq, including its second-largest city, Mosul.

The head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, however, maintains Iraqi airspace is safe. Nassir Bandar says: "There is no threat to airplanes passing over the Iraqi skies."

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