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Iraq: UN voices concern over shelling of northern Kurdish areas

Iraq: UN voices concern over shelling of northern Kurdish areas

The top United Nations official in Iraq voiced concern today over the intermittent shelling of areas in the northern region of Kurdistan.

“Such incidents continue to cause damage and consternation among the civilian populations in these areas, disrupting their daily lives,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi said in a statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Mr. Qazi recently discussed the issue with all relevant parties and urged them to use their good offices to ensure an immediate end to the shelling. He called on all concerned parties to refrain from activities that “can lead to further destabilization of the political and humanitarian situation in Iraq,” the statement noted.

He stressed that “a stable, secure and peaceful Iraq is in the interests of Iraq, its neighbours and the wider region.”

UN agencies have been in touch with the governorate and local authorities and have undertaken assessment missions to ascertain humanitarian needs, providing tents, blankets, cooking equipment and other emergency items to several hundred displaced families as well as emergency supplies to hospitals treating the wounded.

Work was going on to ensure adequate water supplies to those affected, UNAMI added.