Iraq Closes Airport in Mosul Without Warning and Without Explanation

(Reuters)-Iraq closed the international airport in its second largest city Mosul today, grounding flights without any explanation as to why, say industry sources.

The closure affects flights to and from Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as well as internal flights between the northern city and the capital.

U.S. forces used Mosul International Airport as a base by during the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. Though security has improved in the city, it remains one of Iraq's most dangerous cities. Militant groups including al Qaeda still have a foothold there.

Sources say Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the airport closed, though no one was immediately available for comment from the premier's office.