Iraqi violence claims 700 lives in April

May 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

BAGHDAD, May 2 (UPI) -- April was the deadliest month in Iraq in about five years, with more than 700 people killed and another 1,600 wounded, the U.N. mission in Iraq said.

The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq said 595 civilians and 117 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed by acts of terrorism or general violence last month. Combined, 1,633 people were injured in the attacks.

UNAMI said that makes April the deadliest month for Iraq since June 2008. Baghdad province was the worst hit, with 211 civilians killed.

Iraq had provincial elections April 20, the first elections since U.S. combat forces left the country in 2011. Relatively peaceful elections were preceded by acts of terrorism and Iraqi security forces were accused of firing on demonstrators near the northern city of Kirkuk in the period after the vote.

Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, was the site this week to a multilateral meeting aimed at reconciliation. Anbar was left out of provincial elections because of the security situation and Sunni tribal leaders there issued a call to arms against the government following the incident in Kirkuk.

A statement attributed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week expressed concern about post-war Iraq.

A report from CNN this week said there are concerns that tensions in Iraq could escalate into sectarian war.

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