(BAGHDAD) -- As Iraq prepares for its first parliamentary elections since the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2011, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad issued an alert for American citizens not to travel via the airport in the capital through April 8, citing a "specific threat." The embassy also issued the following statement on its website, "U.S. citizens are advised to keep a low profile, vary days, times and routes of travel and exercise caution while driving and entering or exiting vehicles."
Americans were warned to stay away from the Syrian, Turkish or Iranian borders, which were described as "especially dangerous and not always clearly defined."
There are expectations that al Qaeda militants and local insurgents will be active during the run-up to the April 30 elections to pick lawmakers who will ultimately decide whether to keep Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki or find another leader.
Meanwhile on Sunday, gunmen kidnapped and executed six men in a Sunni town 20 miles south of Baghdad while in the northern city of Tikrit, a suicide bomber drove a fuel tanker into a police precinct, killing three officers and wounding 13.
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