At Least 600 People Wounded In ISIS Chemical Attacks

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Kobane ExplosionKobane Explosion

A three-year-old girl was killed and at least 600 people were wounded in two chemical attacks orchestrated by ISIS militants in Iraq, according to country officials.

The attacks took place on March 12 in Taza, a small town near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, The Guardian reports.

Taza was struck by rockets carrying chemicals three days earlier.

“There is fear and panic among the women and children,” Adel Hussein, a local official in Taza, said. “They’re calling for the central government to save them.”

The injuries sustained by the wounded include infected burns, suffocation and dehydration, according to Helmi Hamdi, a nurse at the Taza hospital. Eight people have been transported to Baghdad for treatment.

Forensics teams from the U.S. and Germany are performing tests in Taza for the presence of chemical agents, Hussein said.

Last month, U.S. and Iraqi officials captured the head of ISIS' chemical weapons unit. The chemicals used by the terrorist group so far are chlorine and a low-grade sulfur mustard, which are considered to not be very potent.

“It’s a legitimate threat," Steve Warren, U.S. Army Colonel said about ISIS' chemical weapons. "It’s not a high threat. We’re not, frankly, losing too much sleep over it."

The same day as the chemical attacks, an ISIS suicide bomber attempt was thwarted by Iraqi forces, Rudaw reports.

The attack by six ISIS militants took place on Peshmerga defense lines south of Kirkuk.

“The militants were gunned down before they could detonate themselves,” commander Kamal Kirkuki told Rudaw.

Kirkuki said their bodies are still lying in the field where they were shot to death.

“The bodies of the suicide bombers were blown to pieces after they were shot,” he said.

Sources: The Guardian, Rudaw / Photo credit: quapan/Flickr

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