Lockheed says 25 employees being evacuated from northern Iraq

WASHINGTON, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:37pm EDT

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) - Top U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday said about 25 of its employees were being evacuated from the Balad area in northern Iraq as part of a larger effort to ensure their safety given growing violence in the region.

Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein said the employees were in Iraq working with the Iraqi air force as it prepared to receive the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets, which are due to be ferried to the country later this year.

Rein said it was too soon to say if the arrival of the jets in the country would be delayed as a result of the violence.

"This is an unfolding situation," Rein said. "Those planes weren't due to ferry for a couple months anyway." (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chris Reese)

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