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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Cash row closes Baghdad airport
By Jon Leyne
BBC correspondent in Baghdad

An Iraqi airways flight (archive photo)
A former minister is wanted for questioning over the row
Baghdad airport has been closed indefinitely in a dispute over payment for security.

The British company that provides security to the airport, Global, has withdrawn its services in what it says is a contractual dispute.

Military flights, however, are not affected.

Travelling out of Baghdad airport is hazardous enough at the best of times but now it is not possible at all, at least on civilian flights.

It is understood that Global has not been paid by the Iraqi government for three months.

It is not clear whether there is any connection but the Iraqi transport ministry is frequently accused of corruption.

A former transport minister is wanted for questioning over the issue.

The Iraqi government is also notoriously unreliable about paying its own employees.

When the airport is open, several airlines provide commercial flights inside Iraq and to several neighbouring countries.

Because of the threat of missiles, planes execute a corkscrew manoeuvre on landing and take-off.

The airport highway is also one of the most frequently attacked roads in the country.


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