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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iraq's refugee number increases

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 16:29:55
Source: AFP
Iraqis are suffering dire consequences of Bush's war


The number of people displaced in Iraq has increased, despite US officials' claims on security improvement in the war-ravaged country.


The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that the number of Iraqi refugees has grown by about 50,000 to 2.25 million since July.

Shia Muslims make up some 65 percent of the displaced while 31 percent are Sunnis and 4 percent Christian, according to an IOM survey of some 114,732 families.

"The majority of the displaced assessed are renting substandard shelter or are staying with friends of family, placing new burdens on host communities," the IOM said in its latest "Emergency Needs Assessments" report on Iraq.

The problem is compounded by many provinces now restricting entry and registration of displaced persons, and by the decision of Iraq's neighbors Syria and Jordan to impose visa requirements in order to stem the flow of refugees, it added.

The organization's latest review warned that the alleged progress in parts of Baghdad and the western province of Anbar were by no means uniform or certain to continue.

Increased security, particularly in the capital, is the central aim of US President George W. Bush's "surge" strategy, which has come under heavy attack at Congressional hearings in recent weeks for not being successful.

DT/DT

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