1,057 Iraqis killed in July

Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The level of violence documented by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq for July is "disturbingly high," the U.N. special envoy to Iraq said Thursday.

UNAMI announced Thursday 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 injured by terrorism or other acts of violence in Iraq in July. Civilians bore the brunt of the violence by an overwhelming margin.

Gyorgy Busztin, the U.N. envoy for Iraq, said the level of violence is the highest it's been in more than five years "when the blind rage of sectarian strife" pushed the country to the brink of civil war at the height of the insurgency.

The U.S. Defense Department adopted its so-called surge strategy during the insurgency, sending more troops to Iraq to control the violence. U.S. combat forces were withdrawn from Iraq in December 2011.

"The impact of violence on civilians remains disturbingly high, with at least 4,137 civilians killed and 9,865 injured since the beginning of 2013," he said in a statement.

Hundreds of people were killed last week in bombings targeting Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. UNAMA said the central province of Baghdad was the worst hit with 238 killed and 719 injured last month.

"I reiterate my urgent call on Iraq's political leaders to take immediate and decisive action to stop the senseless bloodshed and to prevent these dark days from returning," Busztin said.

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