Friday, September 05, 2003

Spoke to Jamie this evening; she's swinging through London on her way back from Baghdad.

She reminded me that she interviewed the murdered mine clearance expert Ian Rimmel for a story she wrote during her tour of duty in Iraq:

AP story featuring Ian Rimmel (.doc)
AP story featuring Ian Rimmel (.txt)
Photo of Ian Rimmel at work in Iraq

I spoke to MAG's Executive Director Lou McGrath this afternoon in between the deluge of interviews. He said MAG has temporarily suspended its operations in Northern Iraq following the attack on Ian Rimmel. MAG teams in Northern Iraq are regrouping and a review's being carried out of the areas in which they operate.

No decision has yet been taken on whether to move out of the area, although at the moment the deminers are determined to stay. Let's hope they're given the support of the international community to continue their vital work, despite the tragedy.

Lou said it was still too early to know who carried out the attack, although the suspicion is on former elements of Saddam Hussein’s regime rather than foreign fighters.

Ian Rimell's death will only hurt the lives of ordinary Iraqis whose communities are blighted by mines. It's the sickening, cold blooded murder of a man who had devoted his life to humanitarian work.


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