By John Lee.
Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied claims that some embassies and foreign diplomatic missions had closed their offices and left Baghdad.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry said:
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserts the invalidity of such reports which lack credibility. No embassy or mission left the capital. The Ministry is on regular contact with all missions in Baghdad and the provinces in order to provide the best ways and conditions of their work to serve the citizens and the interests of their own countries.
"During crises and as a procedure, the foreign missions sometimes take precautionary measures such as reducing unnecessary staff or redeploy their employees within the country.
"On the other hand, some of the missions and embassies increase the number of their employees because of the security, political and humanitarian developments in the country."