Fire erupts at IDP camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, kills one person

Fire erupts at IDP camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, kills one person
One person died and nine others were injured after a fire broke out at an IDP camp in northern Iraq.  
2 min read
14 April, 2022
General view of the refugee camp outside Kirkuk for displaced communities from Hawija. [Getty]

A fire broke out late Wednesday night at the Cham Mshkoy IDP camp in the Zakho district of the Duhok province in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan region, killing one young man and injuring nine other refugees,  Zakho police said in a statement

"Salah Jardo Khalaf, 24 years old, from Sinjar, died due to severe burns, while his mother was slightly wounded. The cause of the fire might have been an electrical short in one tent, that spread to two other tents. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, and the wounded were rushed to hospital for treatment," a spokesperson for Zakho police said.

The Iraqi Kurdistan region hosts thousands of internally displaced Iraqis, who had sought refuge from the 2014-2017 attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and subsequent military operations to defeat them.

The displaced communities have not been able to return to their original homes whether out of security reasons or due to the failure of Iraqi authorities to rehabilitate their destroyed towns and villages. 

Karwan Zaki, head of media at the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration told The Arabi Al-Jadeed, the Arabic language sister outlet of The New Arab, that nine other people were injured as a result of the fire.

This is not the first time a fire has broken out at IDP camps, resulting in several casualties. 

The New Arab contacted Firas Al-Khateeb, a spokesperson and communication officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iraq, but he was not immediately available to comment. 

"Based on the tighter humanitarian needs analysis and the agreed targeting criteria, the 2022 Iraq HRP will prioritize life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance for 991,000 Iraqi IDPs and returnees, including 180,000 IDPs informal camps, 234,000 IDPs living in out-of-camp areas, and 577,000 returnees," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan Published published last month.