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Unexploded munitions threaten Gaza

GAZA, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross is warning that despite a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, unexploded munitions in Gaza remain a threat.

Unexploded ordnance left in the wake of Israel's military campaign targeting Hamas militants are scattered around Gaza. ICRC officials say with the cease-fire in place, a number of people, especially children, are leaving their homes for the first time, running the risk of being killed or maimed by unexploded munitions scattered in civilian areas, the ICRC reported.

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The ICRC cited the death of two children killed by unexploded ordnance in the Shaaf area east of Gaza City Tuesday.

Officials say the humanitarian aid and reconstruction effort is also being slowed as a result of the munitions threat.

"The fact that Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world makes the problem of unexploded munitions even more acute," Antoine Grand, head of the ICRC office in Gaza, said in a statement.

"The contamination represents a major threat for the population and for rescue teams now working in the field. It could hold back the pace of humanitarian work."

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