Security beefed up at US embassy in Baghdad

Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans against the al-Qaida inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Baghdad's Sadr city, Iraq, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much-revered religious shrine. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Security is being beefed up at the U.S. embassy in the capital of Iraq and some staff members are being temporarily moved to other parts of Iraq and to Jordan.

A State Department spokeswoman says in a statement that a “substantial majority” of U.S. embassy staff will remain even as parts of the country experience instability and violence.

She says the Baghdad embassy will continue to engage daily with Iraqis.

U.S. travelers in the country were encouraged to exercise caution and limit travel to certain parts of Iraq.

An al-Qaida splinter group surprised Western intelligence organizations last week and took control of major Iraqi cities.

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