Decades of internal conflict, a history overtaken with war and a delicate new government put Iraq in the midst of an explosive-remnants-of-war situation that is worsening as the security situation continues to deteriorate. The country's unstable nature poses a challenge for organizations that wish to provide much needed humanitarian assistance. Conflicts between ethnic and political parties, the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the more recent U.S.-led invasion in 2003 left the country's 169,234 square miles (438,314 square meters) riddled with landmines, unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance.



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