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Leftover Islamic State IED kills three child shepherds in Iraq

Unexploded ordnance in retaken areas kills civilians and security forces on regular basis and is major obstacle to reconstruction
Shepherding flocks has become dangerous in parts of Iraq (AFP/file photo)
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Three child shepherds were killed in western Iraq on Sunday when one of them stepped on a roadside bomb planted by the Islamic State (IS) group, local officials said.

"Three children were killed today by a leftover improvised explosive device planted by the Daesh organisation north of al-Baghdadi," said the mayor, Sharhabeel al-Obeidi, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

He said the victims, aged between nine and 13, were herding sheep when the bomb exploded under them, just north of al-Baghdadi, about 180km northwest of Baghdad.

"They died on the spot. A police unit went to the site of the explosion and brought their bodies to the morgue," a local police major said.

Al-Baghdadi was briefly under the control of the IS militants who seized about a third of Iraq in 2014.

It lies in Anbar province, which has yet to be fully retaken by the Iraqi security forces and continues to see frequent IS attacks originating from desert areas on the towns and cities that dot the Euphrates River valley.

Unexploded ordnance in retaken areas kills civilians and security forces on a regular basis and is a major obstacle to reconstruction.