The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) revealed yesterday that 8.5 million Iraqis live among deadly mines and unexploded remnants of war.
"Iraq is one of the most contaminated countries on the planet's surface with explosive munitions," ICRC spokeswoman in Iraq, Heba Adnan, told the Iraqi official news agency, adding that explosive remnants of war are spread across more than 3,200 square kilometres of land, "twice the size of the city of London".
She added that approximately 8.5 million Iraqis live among these deadly remnants of war, noting that mines and remnants of war have caused about 700 deaths between 2018 and 2020.
According to official figures, the population of Iraq exceeds 40 million, while thousands of families live in mine-contaminated areas, in violation of the law, due to their inability to buy or rent real estate.
Adnan pointed out that the ICRC strives to spread awareness of the dangers posed by weapons, as well as to provide assistance to victims.
Mines and bombs are considered one of the biggest challenges facing the Iraqi authorities before they are able to return displaced persons to liberated areas in the north of the country, especially in the governorates of Nineveh and Kirkuk.
Mines and remnants of war have spread in Iraq since Baghdad's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the occupation of the country by international forces led by the United States in 2003 and Daesh's control of large areas of the country between 2014 and 2017.
According to the Landmine Monitor, Iraq is one of the most polluted countries in the world in terms of mined area, in addition to contamination with cluster munitions and other war remnants.