November 9, 2003: News from Iraq

Translation to Arabic | Translation to most European Languages

(Complied from eIraq and News Wires)

Maternity deaths in Iraq have nearly tripled since 1990, UN survey finds
Report, UNFPA ( 4 November 2003)

The number of women who die of pregnancy and childbirth in Iraq has nearly tripled since 1990, according to a reproductive health survey conducted by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Bleeding, ectopic pregnancies and prolonged labour are among the causes of the reported 310 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2002, which the study found had risen sharply from 117 deaths in 1989. Miscarriages have also risen, partly due to stress and exposure to chemical contaminants.

Breakdown in security, as well as weakened communication and transport systems, have made access to medical facilities difficult for women. As a result, more women -- some 65 per cent -- are giving birth at home, the majority without skilled help.

ICRC to close offices in Baghdad, Basra (Kyodo)
GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday it has decided to temporarily close its offices in Baghdad and Basra, a southern Iraqi city, to ensure the safety of its employees.

The ICRC's decision comes amid deteriorating security in the war-torn country, where two U.S. helicopters have been shot down in recent days.

Calls for greater transparency on civilian deaths
Report, IRIN, 30 October 2003
Following the recent publication of a report on deaths during the war in Iraq, Amnesty International (AI) has renewed calls on the US government to take more responsibility in providing more information on civilian casualties in the volatile nation.

About 13,000 Iraqis, including 4,300 noncombatants, were killed during the war, according to a report published by the US-based research group. These are the first such statistics, as Washington has refrained from publishing estimates of numbers of Iraqis killed during the war.

Army Identifies Iraq Copter Crash Victims (The Associated Press)
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - Army officials on Saturday identified four members of the 101st Airborne Division killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed near Tikrit, Iraq.

The Black Hawk went down on the east side of the Tigris River on Friday near Saddam Hussein's hometown, killing all six soldiers aboard.

The four Fort Campbell soldiers were identified as Capt. Joseph B. Smith, 29, of Monroe City, Mo.; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kyran E. Kennedy, 43, of Boston; Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neff, 30, of South Carolina; and Sgt. Scott C. Rose, 30, of Massachusetts.

All four were members of the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Brigade, a statement from Fort Campbell said.

The two other passengers were not identified, but were not assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.

The cause of the crash remains uncertain, although the U.S. command said in a statement that initial findings ``discount the use of surface-to-air missiles as a possible cause.''

A fifth member of the 101st was killed in a separate incident in Mosul, when his convoy was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was identified as Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon, 23, of Memphis, Tenn.

11/08/03 15:55 EST


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