France: ‘Stronger intnl. commitment to demining efforts’ needed in Raqqa – Human Rights Watch

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“We just need to see a stronger international commitment to demining efforts” in Raqqa, Director of the Terrorism and Counterterrorism Division at Human Rights Watch, Nadim Houry, said in a Skype interview from Paris on Monday.

Houry was commenting on a report released by Human Rights Watch on Monday, which states that “between October 21, 2017 and January 20, 2018, mines [in Raqqa] injured at least 491 people, including 157 children, many of whom died.”

Residents are starting to return to the city, which is still laced with booby traps and explosives. Despite being liberated from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), injuries and deaths are still a daily occurrence due to unexploded ordnance.

Houry called on the international coalition to provide “more demining equipment, more funding and an increase in the number of deminers and thirdly an increase in the training for local residents who do the demining.”

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