Syria: Demining urgently needed in Raqqa as MSF treats 33 blast victims in one week

Syria: Demining urgently needed in Raqqa as MSF treats 33 blast victims in one week

Monday, January 15, 2018 — Amsterdam/Raqqa/London: Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical teams in Raqqa city treated 33 patients with blast-related injuries in the first week of 2018, including 13 who were under 18 years old.

Patients sustain these injuries on returning to their homes in a city littered with unexploded remnants of war and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

MSF is extremely concerned by the limited amount of demining activities in the region, due to a shortage of demining equipment and expertise.

Thousands of residents have returned to the city and it is predicted that many more will arrive. IEDs and unexploded remnants of war remain a major threat to these people, and unless more demining activities take place, high numbers of blast victims including children seem likely in the months to come.

Residents of Raqqa want to be able to return safely to their homes, businesses and fields.  MSF calls strongly on all warring parties and their allies, as well as demining organisations and donors, to increase mine clearance of people’s homes and of suburbs and to increase mine risk education services to protect people from these catastrophic but avoidable deaths and injuries. 

ENDS

Note to editors: MSF provides medical care services free of charge to people in need regardless of religion, race or political affiliation. MSF does not accept funding from any government, religious committee or international agency for its programmes in Syria. ​

An explosive device found by residents underneath rubble. Al Mishlab, east of Raqqa city, 7 November 2017. Credit MSF/Diala Ghassan
MSF teams assessing the medical and humanitarian needs in Al Mishlab, east of Raqqa city, 2 November 2017. Credit MSF/Diala Ghassan
Two children help their parents clean their house of rubble. Al Mishlab, east of Raqqa city, 7 November 2017. Credit MSF/Diala Ghassan