Following airstrikes in Ninewa with civilian casualties reported, we reiterate that Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected at all times. Local populations must be protected, disputes should be addressed through dialogue and cooperation.
— UNAMI (@UNIraq) February 2, 2022
Explosives on the ground
In the meantime, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday that four children - three boys and a girl – have died, and two have been maimed over the past week, due to explosive devices left behind by combatants.
The incidents occurred in Babel province and the capital, Baghdad, while children were simply carrying out daily chores, such as collecting wood.
According to the agency, these are not isolated incidents.
Over the last year, 125 children were killed or maimed by explosive remnants of war (ERW) and unexploded ordnance; 52 lost their lives, and 73 were seriously injured.
UNICEF says stronger efforts are needed to reduce the harm they cause, especially to curious boys, as the number of child casualties grew 67 per centcompared to the previous year.