ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An internally displaced family living in a camp just outside the city of Kirkuk was left in anguish after a tent fire killed caused the death of four children, leaving the parents with severe injuries.
The tent caught fire late Tuesday evening after the family’s kerosene heater exploded. The heater was most likely overworked as they attempted to fend off the bitter winter cold.
The incident occurred at the Nazrawa camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), located in the town of Lailan, about 20 kilometers from the center of Kirkuk, a security source told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
The source added that all four children in the family of six were killed in the blaze, with the two parents currently receiving treatment for their severe burns.
Camps across Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have witnessed similar fires over the past few years, resulting in multiple deaths, particularly among children.
Kirkuk continues to host hundreds of thousands of IDPs from several regions and provinces. Many of them were housed in camps scattered on the outskirts of the city.
Most of the inhabitants of the Nazrawa camp are displaced people from the town of Hawija. Located just under 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of Kirkuk city, Iraq retook the majority-Arab town from the Islamic State during an offensive in late 2017.
Iraq declared victory against the jihadist group in Dec. 2017, but its fighters continue to carry out insurgent attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings in several areas across the country.
Now, around two million people remain displaced within Iraq’s borders, who refuse or are unable to return to their areas due to insecurity and a lack of basic services and infrastructure, damaged by the war against the Islamic State.
Editing by Nadia Riva