NEW YORK (September 25, 2012) — UNICEF condemns the attack that took place yesterday near Al-Khifah elementary school in Heet, western Iraq. The attack reportedly killed a number of children on their way to school and injured many more.
“UNICEF condemns this attack in the strongest terms,” said Mr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq. “The killing of children is unacceptable. Attacks on schools which are meant to provide a safe learning environment is a grave violation of children’s rights.”
The attack took place as more than 9 million students in Iraq were going into school on the second day of the academic year.
“Once again innocent children pay the price for a despicable act of violence,” added Mr. Babille, “and we are particularly distressed that the attack on a school happens at a time of year when children all over Iraq are starting the academic year.”
Mr. Babille expressed his deepest condolences to the victims' families and called on the Government of Iraq to take the necessary measures to ensure that safe access to schools is guaranteed to all children.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.