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Recent reports from the Southern Iraqi city of Najaf unveiled more realities about the US-led invasion of the country, revealing that the cluster bombs used by the US forces in the holy city have left horrifying and disastrous impacts on the Iraqi people, mostly children.

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"My 10 year-old daughter Fatemeh is suffering from cancer and is being treated in al-Sadr hospital's cancer center in Najaf," Hassan Razi, 44, who resides in al-Ansar district in Najaf told FNA.

He explained that many people in this small district have grown cancerous tumors, adding that the disease has grown so commonplace and dreadful that many of the residents have left the region due to an increase in the number of cancerous patients.

Dr. Talib Kamouneh working at al-Sadr hospital also explained that "an average number of 50 Iraqis come to the hospital for chemotherapy every day".

Shanan al-Arazi, the head of cancer prevention at Najaf's health center, blamed the weapons and bombs used by the US forces in Iraq during the recent years for the sharp increase in the number of the cancerous patients, and said, "The bombs contained uranium and radiation,"

Recent medical reports indicated that cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, specially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.

Dr Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special science adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, said in 2011 that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects.

"Children with congenital anomalies are subjected to karyotyping and chromosomal studies with complete genetic back-grounding and clinical assessment. Family and obstetrical histories are taken too. These international studies have produced ample evidence to show that depleted uranium has disastrous consequences," he said

According to Iraqi doctors, cancer cases suddenly and sharply increased after both the 1991 war and the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of "Uranium in Iraq" recently said that the incubation period for depleted uranium is five to six years, which is consistent with the spike in cancer rates in 1996-1997 and 2008-2009.

Not everyone is ready to draw a direct correlation between allied bombing of these areas and tumors, and the Pentagon has been skeptical of any attempts to link the two. But Iraqi doctors and some Western scholars say the massive quantities of depleted uranium used in the US and British bombs, and the sharp increase in cancer rates are not unconnected.

In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of newborn infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.

The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009.

The water, soil and air in large areas of Iraq, including Baghdad, are contaminated with depleted uranium that has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.

Elsewhere in the Middle-East, a senior Afghan activist, writer and politician in a comprehensive report released in January unveiled the realities of the US-led invasion of his country, and warned that the depleted uranium bullets and munitions used by the US forces in Afghanistan have left horrifying and disastrous impacts on the Afghan children.

Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki, who taught management and policy courses at the Chicago State University for three year, in a report after his visit to Afghanistan, revealed part of the crimes committed by the US forces in the war-torn country.

In his report, dubbed as 'Death Made In America', Dr. Miraki pointed to uranium munitions used by the US forces in Afghanistan and stated, "Due to the use of massive amount of uranium munitions used by the US forces in the initial bombing and subsequently, massive amount of congenital deformities occur all over Afghanistan."

"The rate of various cancers has gone up significantly. Leukemia and esophageal cancers are very high among children," Miraki stressed.

He quoted doctors at maternity and children hospitals in Kabul as saying that "the rate of various congenital deformities have increased by many folds since the US invasion".

"In fact, the magnitude of man-made isotopes was established by the Uranium Medical Research Center after their investigators made two trips to Afghanistan and collected urine and soil samples. They established that the rate of man-made isotopes was gone up 2000 times in some subjects located near the bombed areas."

"Since uranium used in the weapons has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the US forces ensured that generations of Afghans suffer from cancers and deformities," the activist noted.

"This is certainly not development. In fact, it is the biggest crime ever committed by anyone in the history of humanity," he stressed.

Dr, Miraki started a non-for-profit organization, Afghan DU and Recovery Fund to raise awareness and funds to initiate some DU clean-up projects, relocate villagers from bombed villages, and provide clean water and other basic sustenance for the poor people of Afghanistan.


Fars News