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ISIS executes 15 police officers, kidnaps 4 journalism students in Iraq

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Baghdad: The Islamic State radical group on Sunday executed 15 Iraqi police officers and kidnapped four journalism students accused of collaborating with the foreign press in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

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Mohammed al-Bayati, the head of security in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, said that the incidents were part of a campaign of arrests and executions being carried out by the IS against the security services and public officials.

The 15 officers were killed by rifle fire on a square in Mosul in front of the city hall before a crowd of passersby with the aim of “intimidating” local residents, Al-Bayati said.

Later, their bodies were delivered to the city morgue, the official said, adding that the IS fighters are carrying out mass arrests of election commission employees and members of the security forces, who had declared their fidelity to the IS.

Meanwhile, four University of Mosul journalism students were arrested on Sunday morning in different districts around the city and were accused of publishing images of the “land of the Caliphate”, thus cooperating with the international press, a member of the Iraqi journalists union, Sufian al-Mashhandani, said.

The images of Mosul were allegedly published on the Facebook pages of the arrested students.

After their arrests, the students were transferred to an IS prison located in the southeastern part of the city to be questioned by a tribunal of jihadis about their alleged collaboration with the foreign media.

Since the jihadis occupied Mosul on June 10, 2014, they have murdered hundreds of people for opposing the extremist ideology of the IS, including human rights activists, physicians, journalists, soldiers, and policemen.

In late June 2014, the IS declared an Islamic caliphate in the territories it controls in Syria and Iraq.

(IANS/EFE)

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Water-Borne Illness Increases Sharply in Iraq

Iraq's individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage.

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Water crisis
A girl drinks water in the street outside her tent at a camp for internally displaced people in western Baghdad, Iraq. VOA

Iraqi health officials say that a health crisis stemming from water pollution and a shortage of clean drinking water has worsened in recent days, as hospitals in the southern port city of Basra treat more than 1,000 cases of intestinal infections on a daily basis. The problem was exacerbated several months ago when Turkey cut back on water distributed to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

A crowd of young men took to the streets on in the southern port city of Basra Tuesday, demanding the central government and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi increase the quantity of clean drinking water allotted to their province, otherwise it’ll lead to a health crisis. Abadi vowed to increase spending on infrastructure for the province during a visit to Basra in July.

A young man, whose friend was killed during a rally several weeks ago, broke down and sobbed over the protesters’ inability to force Iraqi leaders to improve the condition of public services in Basra, especially the region’s worn-out water infrastructure and insufficient quantities of drinking water allotted by the central government.

Some health officials in Basra warn that a cholera outbreak is possible due to water pollution and water-borne parasites that have made thousands of people sick in recent days. The director general of the Basra Health department, Riad Abdul Amir, told Al Hurra TV the situation continues to worsen.

He says more than 17,500 cases of intestinal ailments, resulting from contaminated drinking water, have been treated by Basra hospitals during the past two weeks, alone.

 

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The water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years. Pixabay

 

Abdul Amir says the problem stems from insufficient fresh water supplies coming into the city via canals and water pipes from the north.

“Salty water [which has infiltrated the water network],” he asserts, “is known to reduce the efficacy of chlorine used to treat and kill bacteria in drinking water,” he said.

Safaa Kazem, a docotor who has been treating dozens of cases of intestinal problems and diarrhea in Basra’s Sadr Teaching Hospital each day, says water from the city’s supply is not safe to drink.

She says the degree of water sterilization is minimal and that Basra’s water is very salty and has an extremely high level of microbes in it, along with a high degree of chemical pollution.

Basra Governor Assad al Edani told Al Hurra TV that his province has been suffering from numerous infrastructure problems for a long time.

He says the water network in Basra hasn’t been updated in at least 30 years and the old pipes often break, mixing drinking water with sewage.

water, health crisis
The degree of water sterilization is minimal. VOA

Edani says “not enough fresh water is arriving via the region’s only canal from Thi Qar province to the north.” He thinks a “strong current of fresh water will flush out salty water seeping into the water network from the sea.”

Also Read: Iraq Lifts Ban On International Flights to Kurdish Airports

Edani adds that the population of Basra has “more than doubled since the water network was last updated in the early 1990s.”

Iraq’s individual provinces have been fighting for water, amid a general shortage, since Turkey in early June severely curtailed the number of cubic meters of water it funnels into both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (VOA)