As people return home to Mosul and other areas of northern Iraq freed from the terrorist group, ISIS, homemade bombs and explosives laid on an industrial scale by the insurgents are claiming hundreds of victims and hampering efforts to bring life back to normal.
Houses, schools, mosques and streets are all booby-trapped, a big problem in West Mosul following its recapture by government forces this month after nine months of fighting.
Beyond Mosul, in villages and fields stretching from the Plain of Nineveh to the Kurdish autonomous region, retreating ISIS fighters have sown a vast area with improvised bombs and mines as their self-proclaimed caliphate shrinks.
“The scale of contamination? There are kilometers and kilometers and kilometers of active devices, sensitive enough to be detonated by a child and powerful enough to blow up a truck,” Craig McInally, operations manager for Norwegian People’s Aid anti-explosives project, said.