An oil worker walks next to burning oil fields in Qayara, south of Mosul, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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For months, residents of the Iraqi town of Qayyarah have lived under a dark cloud of toxic fumes released by oil well fires lit by retreating Daesh (ISIS) fighters.The move has returned a small measure of order to Qayyarah, where complaints about government neglect have simmered since last summer, when the militants torched the oil wells as the Iraqi army drove them out.Jihad could not say how many were still burning, but from the edge of the town, at least five separate sites could be seen.Some of the oil oozed into trenches to divert it from the Tigris River and inhabited areas.Where a burning oil well once raged, children with blackened faces played war, simulating battles between militants and the Iraqi army with fake homemade guns and using rocks as grenades. More than 1,500 people have sought medical treatment for respiratory problems.
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