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Japanese nurse reports on work in Iraq

A Japanese Red Cross nurse who provides medical support in Iraq says the country's worsening security situation is making such activity very difficult.

Chiyuki Yoshida, who recently returned to Japan temporarily from Iraq, spoke in Tokyo on Friday.

She is a nurse at a Japanese Red Cross hospital in Wakayama Prefecture.

Yoshida has been working at an office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Iraq's southern city of Najaf since last November.

She said more than 12,000 people have been displaced to southern Iraq since last December.

She said more than 100 displaced families arrived in Najaf in June from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. That city has been captured by Islamic militants.

Yoshida said sanitary conditions are very bad in Najaf and an increasing number of people are suffering from dermatitis or complaining about diarrhea.

She said she felt frustrated at the inability to deliver supplies to refugees when the staff were ordered to stay in the office due to a bomb attack in the area.

Activists from Japanese non-profit groups and non-governmental organizations are also working to extend medical support and deliver supplies to refugees.

Yoshida plans to resume her work in Iraq in July.

Jun. 27, 2014 - Updated 11:40 UTC