Baghdad, Nov 1 (IANS) A total of 1,273 Iraqis were killed and 2,010 others were injured in terrorist attacks and violence in October in Iraq, according to a statement issued Saturday by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
The statement said that 856 civilians, including 139 policemen, and 417 Iraqi security forces personnel were killed, while 1,490 civilians, including 172 policemen, were wounded. An additional 520 security members were wounded in terrorist and violent acts during 31 days of the month, Xinhua reported citing the statement said.
The UNAMI excluded the casualties in Anbar province where fierce clashes flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.
However, the statement added that the “UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and healthcare”.
Iraq’s capital Baghdad was the worst affected province, with 1,362 civilian casualties (379 killed, 983 injured). The capital was followed by the provinces of Salahudin, Diyala, Nineveh, Babil, Kirkuk and Karbala.
UN envoy and UNAMI chief Nickolay Mladenov voiced deep outrage about the worsening violence that targeted all Iraqi factions by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, including those whose bodies were discovered in mass graves in western Iraq.
“Justice and accountability for those responsible for these mass executions, killings, disappearances and displacement must be ensured,” he said, urging the government of Iraq to ensure that all persons or groups who commit or have committed such barbaric crimes are brought to justice, according to the statement.
The security situation in the country has drastically deteriorated since June 10, when bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and hundreds of Islamists militants from the IS Sunni radical group.
The militants took control of the country’s northern city of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.
Iraq has been witnessing some of the worst violence in years. Terrorist attacks and clashes have killed 5,576 civilians in Iraq in the first half of this year, with 11,666 more wounded, according to a recent UN report.