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Feb 9, 3:30 AM EST

US Army study: Iraq's Mosul dam at 'higher risk' of failure

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- The US Army Corps of Engineers say they have identified "signs of distress" at Mosul dam, indicating that it is at "significantly higher risk of failure" than previously understood.

The internal assessment, made public by Iraqi parliament Monday, concludes that the risk of the dam failing has increased over the past year.

Previous studies have warned that over half a million people could die if Mosul dam collapsed.

The assessment is dated Jan. 30, just days before Iraq's prime minister awarded an Italian firm a contract to overhaul and maintain the dam.

Mosul Dam has suffered from structural flaws for decades, but was further destabilized when the area was overrun by the Islamic State group in 2014.

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