Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

News Update on Iraq

Second Bird Flu Death Confirmed
Authorities have confirmed that a second Iraqi has died from the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, as international teams scrambled to combat the spread of the virus in the country’s north.

Hamma Sur Abdullah, 40, who died of flu-like symptoms a little over a week after his niece, was confirmed by a lab in Cairo as having died of the same cause, a senior Kurdish health official told AFP.

Further tests are underway, in Britain, on virus samples from Mr. Abdullah, as well as on samples from a woman who comes from the same region and remains in hospital with bird flu’s characteristic flu-like symptoms.
Those tests will tell researchers if the virus is in anyway mutating.
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(February 7, 2006)

International Help to tackle Bird Flu in Iraq
Iraq was treating six patients from the same part of northern Iraq for suspected bird flu on Monday as international experts began to help the war-ravaged country fight the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) team arrived in the country at the weekend, after laboratory tests last week confirmed that an Iraqi teenage girl who died last month had H5N1 avian influenza, raising fears that the virus had spread from neighboring Turkey.

The girl's uncle also died and a WHO laboratory in London is testing samples to see if bird flu killed him. Tests are also being carried out on samples from a 54-year-old woman with respiratory problems who is being treated in northern Iraq.
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(February 6, 2006)

Increasing Kidnapping in Iraq
A wave of abductions is sweeping through Iraq - as evidenced this week by three videotaped demands by groups holding Western hostages.Since last fall the number of foreigners seized has spiked, following a prolonged lull. Meanwhile, Iraqis themselves are being kidnapped in large numbers - some months, more than 30 per day.

"The goal of terrorism has nothing to do with killing innocent victims, or the victims themselves," says Jerrold Post, director of the political psychology program at George Washington University. "The goal is to have an impact on outside audiences."

Since May 2003, 268 foreigners have been kidnapped in Baghdad, according to an index maintained by the Brookings Institution in Washington. Of these, 135 were released, three escaped, three were rescued, and 44 were killed, according to Brookings. The fate of 81 hostages remains unknown.
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(February 2, 2006)


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