Pic of the Day: A 250kg general-purpose High Explosives bomb is destroyed in northern Iraq
Yesterday’s demolition involved an electric initiation, using two VS1.6 anti-tank mines as donor charges to destroy the bomb.
The FAB-250 bomb was dropped in 1963 by the Iraqi regime in response to the Kurdish revolution.
It was discovered in the village of Shirta in Akre District, Duhok Governorate, by a local man who uncovered it while looking for food. Around 300 people live in the village and were at risk from an accidental detonation.
Pic of the Day: Marking 20 years of saving lives and building futures in Iraq
Over the last two decades in Iraq, MAG has cleared 600 minefields, cleared and released 70 million square metres of land, and destroyed 165,000 landmines and two million pieces of unexploded ordnance.
“MAG is proud of its record through good times and bad in northern Iraq, and privileged to have excellent relations with both the authorities and local communities,” said MAG Chief Executive, Nick Roseveare. “The 165,000 landmines that MAG has destroyed were each intended to kill or maim someone. Saving lives and building futures is at the heart of our mission with the people of the Kurdish region.”
Pictured taking part in a traditional Kurdish dance are (left to right) Vadar Mustafa (MAG Iraq Community Liaison Coordinator), Wendy Barron (MAG Iraq Country Director), Nick Roseveare (MAG Chief Executive) and Ziad Obaid (MAG Iraq Community Liaison Officer).
Pic of the Day: Preparing a demolition of landmines
[Northern Iraq, 2010]
The UN estimates that more than 1,730 square kilometers of land in Iraq is contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance, affecting 1.6 million Iraqis in around 4,000 communities across the country.
Pic of the Day: Children in Dasht Mir Sari village, in Dohuk Governorate, northern Iraq
MAG has cleared six minefields in and around the village.
“We thank MAG. We feel free – we can go where we like and the children can play where they like,” said Sore Ismail, a grandmother from Dasht Mir Sari, whose husband lost his leg in a landmine accident while collecting wood.
Domiz Refugee Camp for Syrians fleeing to northern Iraq
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of Domiz Refugee Camp for the 45,000-plus Syrians now living in this northern Iraq sanctuary after fleeing their country’s civil war.
In this short video, Niaz Noori Mohammed, Manager at the Camp, talks about the setting up of Domiz and how refugees are helped.
The Camp would not have been able to be installed had not MAG made the land safe first.
This whole area was littered with landmines and other munitions (mortar bombs, submunitions, rockets, hand grenades and more) — remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the coalition forces’ bombardment of military bases in 2003.
MAG cleared 650,000 square metres of land at the site, initially to allow the Camp to be set up in April 2012, later to enable it to expand to meet the growing numbers of refugees. In the process, 63 items of unexploded ordnance were removed.
Pic of the Day: MAG Community Liaison staff in Iraq
Some of MAG Iraq’s brilliant Community Liaison staff in Chamchamal, Iraqi Kurdistan, February 2013.
Community Liaison teams are the eyes and ears of MAG. They gather information from communities about the location, extent and impact of landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination, and find out about the needs of the people.
They also deliver Risk Education, which helps vulnerable people to live/work/travel as safely as possible in an environment contaminated with mines, UXO and other remnants of conflict.
Our staff are recruited locally, reflecting the ethnic diversity of the region, and able to communicate in the local languages.
It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of the camp for the 45,000 Syrians now living in this northern Iraq sanctuary after fleeing their homeland.
Many have crossed the border from northern towns such as Amuda, Derke and Qamishli, others started their journey in Damascus hundreds of miles away, to settle in the rows of white tents that have been set up close to the city of Dohuk.
Conditions are basic; families sleep on hard floors, and recent heavy rain and snow has made the unpaved tracks treacherous. Small children walk around in oversized Wellington boots, while parents try to clear water from the entrance to their tents. A few small stalls sell provisions.
But the lack of security, employment and food at home, means that without the camp, life would be a lot worse.
And, as this whole area was littered with landmines and other deadly items (mortar bombs, submunitions, rockets, hand grenades and more) – remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the coalition forces’ bombardment of military bases in 2003 – the camp would not exist without MAG making the area safe first.
MAG cleared more than 630,000 square metres of land, initially to allow the camp to be set up in April 2012, later to enable it to expand to meet the growing numbers of refugees. In the process, 63 items of unexploded ordnance were removed.