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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Child casualties 'fill Iraq hospitals'
Ahmed Deyari, an injured 14-year-old in a Mosul hospital
The appalling injuries suffered by Ali Ismail Abbas are not unique, says an aid worker who has visited Mosul's hospitals.

The 12-year-old lost both his arms and received extensive burns during a US bombing raid.

He has been airlifted to a hospital in Kuwait for emergency surgery.

However, Brendan Paddy of the aid charity Save the Children, who is working in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, says that he has seen dozens of similarly injured children whose plight has not attracted similar attention.

Unfortunately Ali is by no means unique
Brendan Paddy, Save The Children
He said that the injury toll was reducing experienced medical staff to tears.

He told the BBC: "In the hospitals the doctors have struggled very bravely to keep things running during the bombing.

"They were having to do amputations on children all the time.

"Every day they are having to confront that kind of thing - they were broken up about it when they were speaking to us.

Ali Ismail Abbas
Ali Ismail Abbas was flown to Kuwait for treatment
"These were medical professionals on the verge of tears. Unfortunately Ali is by no means unique."

He said that staff had been fighting off looters "with their bare hands".

"The looting and the burning have been pretty extensive so there have been problems with water supply."

Save the Children managed to provide money to one hospital so that staff could go out and buy fresh vegetables - patients had been living on nothing but rice for weeks.

However, he said that the situation in the city remained dangerous for aid workers.

"We're putting potentially ourselves at risk if we go in."

Save the Children has been based in northern Iraq for 12 years and has 60 Kurdish staff who have worked on throughout the conflict.


SEE ALSO:
Limbless Iraqi boy offered help
09 Apr 03  |  Middle East
First surgery for young Ali
16 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Ali faces a long road
15 Apr 03  |  Health


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