In Baghdad, mortar shells crashed down on a girls high school, killing at least five students and wounding 13 other people, including two teachers, said Brig. Gen. Saad Sultan of the Interior Ministry.The Islamic Republic News Agency reports:
Hours after the attack, grieving parents wept as the bodies of their children were placed in coffins.
Police said four of the girls were killed instantly and a fifth died later.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
UNICEF and UNESCO in a joint statement, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA here Monday, expressed outrage at a terroristic act of mortar attack on a girls' school in Baghdad on Sunday January 28, 2007.To read the full article on the Islamic Republic News Agency website click here.
UNICEF Representative for Iraq, Roger Wright, and Mohamed Djelid, UNESCO Country Director, both emphasized, "This is yet another tragic reminder of the risks facing Iraq's schoolchildren every day as they struggle amidst the insecurity to receive their right to education.
The apparently deliberate targeting of children in this incident is an unforgivable crime."
The two UN agencies stressed that violence and the threat of more violence have seriously disrupted the education system across parts of Baghdad. Girls' schools in particular have suffered, with girls now making up the majority of the far too many children out of school in Iraq's capital.
UNICEF and UNESCO called upon all parties in Iraq to exercise their responsibility and duty to ensure that schools remain safe havens for children to attend, learn and play. Finding appropriate strategies to bring education to children in environments where normal schooling has become impossible is now an imperative.