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Iraq: Children must not be made to pay for war

Iraq: Children must not be made to pay the price of conflict

Amnesty International condemns in the strongest terms the attacks that claimed the lives of at least 58 people, many of them children, in Basra today.

"Indiscriminate attacks have devastating effects and reveal a complete disregard for the most fundamental human right -- the right to life. This became tragically clear for the parents of the children, who were killed or injured by the explosion on their way to school," Amnesty International said.

Several coordinated bombs exploded at three police stations in Basra and a police academy in Zubair area at the rush hour on Wednesday morning. Two school buses were travelling nearby when the bombs were detonated in central Basra.

"Those responsible must be brought to justice in accordance with international law, the climate of impunity must stop, otherwise the cycle of violence will never end," Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International remains deeply concerned at the growing civilian casualties in Iraq. The lack of security limits the everyday life of men, women and children and their right to enjoy basic human rights. Twenty-two prisoners died on Tuesday in mortar strikes on Abu Ghraib Prison west of Baghdad. More than 600 people, including many women and children, have so far been killed in Falluja which remains under siege. Amnesty International fears that the civilian population of Falluja may once again be caught in the fighting and face a humanitarian crisis, unless necessary precautions are taken to protect them.

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