25th Anniversary of the gas attack on Halabja (24 of 24)

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HALABJA 1988-2013

On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.

Amhed Baker's hands. He was in Halabja the day of the attack, when the gas cleared out he helped around the city. Most of his body is affected by a skin condition. This is very common among the survivors.

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