Centre issues alert over Iraq turmoil

Against the backdrop of continuing unrest in Iraq, the Union Home Ministry has issued an alert to all states about the possibility of clashes between Shia and Sunni groups.

The alert came as security establishment expressed fear that the situation in Iraq, where a Sunni-led outfit is trying to remove a Shia-dominated government, may be used by anti-social elements to create trouble in the country.

The Intelligence Bureau has already warned the Home Ministry that the situation could be used to indoctrinate youth to trigger trouble. There is also the fear that false and malicious message may be spread using social media like Facebook and Twitter.

The security agencies have been asked to closely monitor social media, a senior Home Ministry official said, adding security officials in places like Lucknow and Hyderabad have been asked to be on extra alert.

Iraq is witnessing turmoil with insurgents of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) taking control of several towns and moving forward to Baghdad to take control of the whole country.

Some parts of the country have already witnessed protests by Shias and Sunnis. Some places also witnessed joint rallies to maintain peace.

In Lucknow, incidents of stone pelting were reported between two groups during clashes over conducting prayers for peace in Iraq.

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