May 17, 2016 / 4:21 PM / a year ago

Australian NGO worker killed while defusing Islamic State bomb in Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - An Australian working for a land mine clearance charity was killed in northern Iraq on Tuesday while trying to defuse a bomb planted by Islamic State militants, three of his colleagues said.

The man was working under the non-profit Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in the Daquq area, around 200 km north of Baghdad. Islamic State were driven out of Daquq last year but left behind hundreds of improvised explosive devices.

FSD program manager Alex Van Roy said when the man was killed instantly when the bomb containing up to 7 kilograms of explosives blew up.

He said the family of the victim had asked that his name be withheld.

FSD has removed some 500 homemade bombs in the Daquq area since it began working there around two months ago, Kurdish FSD team member Aso Sabah al-Din said.

The team of two dozen includes both expatriates and Kurdish forces who control the area and who say they do not have the capabilities to deal with the bombs left by Islamic State.

Reporting by Isabel Coles and Mustafa Mahmoud; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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