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FlyDubai plane shot at during Baghdad flight amid Iraq turmoil

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 19:32
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A bullet hit the fuselage of a flydubai airliner on its descent into Baghdad, prompting a suspension of flights by UAE carriers to the Iraqi capital, the airline said on Jan 27, 2015.

[DUBAI] A FlyDubai aircraft landed in Baghdad with damage to its fuselage that suggests the Boeing Co 737 was shot at, the discount carrier said on Tuesday.

An examination of the plane following Monday's flight revealed damage "consistent with small arms fire," FlyDubai said in an e-mailed statement.

While passengers disembarked Flight FZ215 normally and no medical attention was required, the airline has suspended the daily Dubai-Baghdad service while the incident is investigated.

Emirates, the world's biggest international carrier and also based in Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Air Arabia PJSC of Sharjah also canceled flights to Baghdad until further notice at the instruction of the United Arab Emirates civil aviation authority.

Lebanon's Middle East Airlines also scrapped its return flight to Baghdad today, according to the carrier's website.

Iraqi forces are fighting Islamic State militants who took over large swathes of the country in June.

Still, the route from Dubai follows the Persian Gulf before aircraft entering Iraqi airspace near Basra, descending into Baghdad over territory not generally associated with militant activity.

BLOOMBERG