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Mosul: 200,000 people trapped by the fighting

Iraq

The Iraqi armed forces announced the launch of the final phase of their offensive to retake the city of Mosul in Iraq. [1] Since the start of this military operation in October 2016, overhalf a million people [2]  have fled the city. Nearly 200,000 people are still trapped by the fighting [3]  and may flee in the coming days, a situation viewed as highly alarming by Handicap International.

Mossoul_Khazer-camp

Displaced of Kazher camp | © E. Fourt / Handicap International

“We’re particularly worried about the 200,000 civilians still trapped in the city,” says Fanny Mraz, Handicap International’s head of mission in Iraq. “They face a terrible dilemma: stay at home and run the very real risk of getting hit by a bombing, or flee and risk injury on the way to the retaken areas.”

Rise in casualties

As the fighting intensifies, the number of casualties coming out of Mosul has risen sharply in recent months. Since the start of the offensive, more than 12,500 people have required emergency care in the region’s hospitals. “Handicap International’s teams in the field have witnessed their suffering, first hand. The use of explosive weapons in Mosul kills, produces serious injuries and causes severe psychological trauma. Since the start of our emergency response, we have been working to assist conflict-affected civilians in hospitals and camps for displaced people,” continues Fanny Mraz.

Risk education and accident prevention

Handicap International provides rehabilitation care, psychological support and, as part of its ongoing prevention work, keeps raising awareness of the threat from mines and explosive remnants of war among people from Mosul. “The population is constantly exposed to danger. It is extremely important that everyone knows how to confront the risk of explosive remnants of war. Since the start of our emergency response, we have raised the awareness of more than 25,000 people,” says Handicap International’s head of mission. 

Protecting civilians under all circumstances

As the military situation in Mosul evolves, Handicap International is calling for the protection of civilians by all necessary means, including an end to the use explosive weapons in densely-populated areas. It is also vital that the military response does not obstruct the humanitarian response. “Our priority is to protect the population and ensure everyone can access humanitarian aid,” adds Fanny Mraz. 


http://news.trust.org/item/20170526174107-khnl7/

DTM_ET_Mosul Operations Factsheet #30

http://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/under-secretary-general-humanitarian-affairs-and-emergency-relief-coordinator-stephen-1

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A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons
(c) E. Fourt/HI

A frightening increase in the number of victims of explosive weapons

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness, HI is alarmed by the frightening increase in the number of civilian victims of explosive weapons : 32,008 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2016 (out of a total of 45,624 victims), according to Action on Armed Violence (AOAV). The toll looks even heavier for 2017, as civilians account for 90% of the victims of explosive weapons when they are used in populated areas. Landmine Monitor has recorded a dramatic increase in casualties of mine and explosive remnants over the past three years. Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen are among the main countries affected.

Mosul: “Most civilians still need humanitarian assistance”
© Blaise Kormann/L’illustré/Handicap International

Mosul: “Most civilians still need humanitarian assistance”

A year ago, on October 17th 2016, the armed forces launched a military offensive to retake the city of Mosul, in Iraq. More than one million civilians were displaced by the fighting, which lasted nine months, and over 18,000 people were injured. Below is an update on one of the region’s biggest humanitarian crises. 

“The bomb fell on my children”
E.Fourt / Handicap International

“The bomb fell on my children”

Omar, 11, was injured in a bomb attack in Mosul, last June. After having his left leg amputated, he is now being assisted by a team from Handicap International (HI) in Muharibeen hospital. The physiotherapists provide him with rehabilitation care.