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Published on 29 Mar 2023 / In News and Politics

(8 Jan 2001) Arabic/Eng/Nat

The growing scandal over depleted uranium use in the Balkans has a depressingly familiar ring about for Iraq.

For the past decade, Iraq has accused the Western allies of using depleted uranium during the Gulf War.

It has made many official complaints to the UN, the WHO and other international organisations.

According to a UNICEF report from the late 1990's the incidence of children dying from leukemia in southern Iraq, especially in Basra, had increased.

Following the meeting of the Iraqi cabinet on Sunday to discuss recent revelations about the use of depleted uranium in Kosovo, the Iraqi Health Minister reiterated this assertion on Monday.

Omeed Mubarak claims a six-fold increase in the rates of child leukemia in the region.

"My child is suffering because of the rockets that were dropped on us. They come and visit us to see our agony. Our children have been affected. I have another young girl who is also affected. What did I do? what is my crime, what is the crime of my child I have to rush and bring my children from the south for treatment very often."
SUPERCAPTION: Mother of victim

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"We have noticed an increase in the childhood cancer, mainly leukemia, especially after the aggression on Iraq in 1991. The cases come from all over the country, but most of the cases are from the southern cities, mainly from Basra and Nasariyah and Semawa."
SUPERCAPTION: Dr. Mouhamed Feres, Leukemia specialist

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"Still our hospitals are receiving so many cases of leukemia and there are increasingly high instances of this. It is now six times the previous rate because of the uses of depleted uranium and the other factors of the impact of the embargo against Iraq and the daily aggression against Iraq."
SUPERCAPTION: Omeed Mubarak, Iraqi Health Minister

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