UNICEF has put out a release asking for donations to help Iraq children: Childhood in Iraq is more precarious than ever. For example: A large numb
February 16, 2008

UNICEF has put out a release asking for donations to help Iraq children:

Childhood in Iraq is more precarious than ever. For example:

A large number of children, estimated in the tens of thousands, have lost parents, siblings and other family members to violence

* At least one in five primary school-age children is unable to go to school

* Only 40 per cent of children have regular access to safe drinking water*

* Some 600,000 children are among the 1.2 million Iraqis displaced over the past two years. Most families are still unable to return home.

Living with so much anxiety and loss has taken a heavy toll on children’s psychological and social well-being. Many are anxious and war-weary, unable to sleep or concentrate at school. More and more have turned to the streets and to work, where they are exposed to the worst forms of abuse and exploitation.

If you are able, please consider making a donation. Meanwhile, a development does not bode well for continued claims of the "surge's" success:

U.S.-allied fighters in a province south of Baghdad have quit working with American troops after two incidents in which U.S. soldiers killed militia members _ the second province where citizen militias have stopped cooperation with the United States.

Citizen brigades in the province of Babil quit work after three members were killed by U.S. forces Friday, a local police spokesman said Saturday.

Another high-profile fatal incident occurred in the same province a little over two weeks ago. Nationwide in that time span, 19 citizen militia members have been killed and 12 wounded by U.S. forces, said the police spokesman, Capt. Muthanna Ahmed.

The action in Babil province follows a strike by citizen brigades members in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, that has gone on for more than a week. The citizen militias allege the local police chief leads a death squad and seek his removal, among other demands.

Also this past week, a leader in another powerful citizens militia warned that U.S. and Shiite-dominated Iraq forces should no longer interfere in its work, suggesting coordinated efforts against insurgents might be coming to an end.

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