BAGHDAD/ HONG KONG, 13 March 2013 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) condemn the attack that took place on March 11 near Wlad secondary school in the town of Dibis in Kirkuk governorate, 290 kilometers north of Baghdad, Iraq.
“We condemn Monday’s attack in the strongest terms” said Mrs Louise Haxthausen, UNESCO’s Representative in Iraq. “Attacks that affect schools are unacceptable; all schools are, and must remain, zones of peace.”
The blast waves and shrapnel caused by the bomb injured 106 students – 70 boys and 36 girls – all of whom were in class at the time of the explosion. Of the injured children: six are in critical condition with two remaining in a coma; 10 have fractures and significant bleeding; and 90 have minor lacerations and bruises. Four teachers were also severely injured in the blast.
“The injuring of innocent children who are studying for a better future is appalling” stated Dr Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative to Iraq. “Attacks that affect Iraqi children’s education show disregard for fundamental principles of humanity. No cause justifies them and they have gone on for far too long. They must stop.”
UNICEF and UNESCO wish a healthy recovery to all children and teachers affected by the attack and call on the Government of Iraq to take the necessary measures to ensure that education is provided in safe and secure environments to all children across Iraq.