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Gulan-media - $20M collected for clearing Kurdistan from bombs in 2016: IKMAA
$20M collected for clearing Kurdistan from bombs in 2016: IKMAA
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Date: 14/02/2017 : 18:28:45307 Views
  

Over $20 million of foreign aid was gathered to remove mines and bombs in the Kurdistan Region following the liberation of areas from the Islamic State (IS), said a Kurdish mine agency on Sunday.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) revealed in 2016 more foreign companies and organizations had entered the Region to contribute in clearing liberated areas from the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by the extremist group.

After the liberation of some towns in southern Kurdistan by Peshmerga forces, IKMAA called for assistance through foreign consulates and representative offices in the Region to remove booby-traps.

“The collected amount of aid in such a financial crisis has an effective impact on the Kurdistan Region,” the head of IKMAA Mohammed Ahmed stated.

He also mentioned there were 25 companies and organizations ready to free the region from mines and IEDs.

According to Ahmed, the number of companies and organizations in the mining sector of the Kurdistan Region increased compared to previous years.

IKMAA is one of the main groups led by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) responsible for mine clearing affairs in the Region.

The agency revealed since the emergence of IS in northern Iraq in June 2014, they had lost 131 employees from IKMAA and other organizations who work to defuse booby-traps.

In addition to IS-planted bombs, several landmine fields remain active on the Kurdistan Region border with Iran.

These mines were planted during the Iraq-Iran war in 1981 until 1988 by the former Iraqi dictatorship.

IKMAA was previously only responsible for clearing mines planted in the Kurdistan Region borders by the former Iraqi regime.

However, following the emergence of IS, the agency expanded its role in southern Kurdistan to defuse booby-traps planted by the insurgent group.

According to IKMAA, they have cleared 56 percent of the Region’s territory from landmines so far.

Moreover, the agency plans to completely free the Region from bombs and mines in the next decade if they receive a sufficient financial budget.




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