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UNHCR: One Out of Every Eight Iraqis Displaced Because of Violence


The United Nations refugee agency says one out of every eight Iraqis is forced to flee home to escape violence.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees say up to 50-thousand Iraqis flee their homes every month. The agency says it is the largest population displacement in the Middle East in over half-a-century.

A U.N.H.C.R. spokesman, Ron Redmond tells VOA Iraq's neighbors do not have the resources to deal with the refugees. He says the agency is appealing for 60 million dollars to help address the situation.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say gunmen ambushed a bus carrying mostly Shi'ite workers through a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad, killing four people.

Elsewhere in the capital, gunmen killed five members of a Shi'ite family, and a roadside bomb killed two people.

North of Baghdad, near Samarra, gunmen kidnapped a tribal council chief.

Iraqi authorities say security forces killed some two dozen suspected militants in a series of raids in Baghdad since Sunday. The U.S. military today also reported the combat deaths of two American soldiers Sunday.

In other news, a former Iraqi official who escaped from jail in the heavily fortified Green Zone said he hopes to soon return to the United States.

Ayham al-Sammarai, who holds dual Iraqi and American citizenship, was jailed for corruption. Speaking at a news conference in Dubai, Sammarai alleged that the charges against him were political, and that he feared he would be kidnapped or killed once he was released.

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