Middle East

Floods kill at least eight in northern Iraq

SULAIMANIYA, Iraq, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Flash floods in northern Iraq killed at least eight people on Friday, Iraqi Kurdish authorities said.

Another three people were missing after heavy rain caused the floods in remote areas south of the city of Erbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, the Kurdish civil defense first responders said.

Flooding and intense storms often hit parts of Iraq during the winter, especially in the north, but are rarely so deadly.

Several people were killed and thousands fled their homes in flash floods in northern Iraqi in 2018.

Large parts of Iraq’s infrastructure remain decimated by decades of war and sanctions under former ruler Saddam Hussein, and since the US invasion of 2003 which unleashed civil war.

Despite relative peace since the defeat of Islamic State in 2017, neglect and widespread corruption have prevented meaningful rebuilding, Iraqi officials say, with funds squandered in areas destroyed by fighting.

Reporting by Ali Sultan in Sulaimaniya, Writing by John Davison in Baghdad

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