UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A total of 12,282 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 23,126 were injured in 2014, the highest incidence of violence in the war-torn country since 2007, the United Nations said.
Nickolay Mladenov, head of the U.N. political mission in Iraq, said the country has been besieged with violence as Islamic State militants continue their offensive against the government. Many of the deaths came in the later part of the year, after IS's major strike in the country. In December alone, 1,101 Iraqis were killed and 1,868 were wounded.
Mladenov warned the casualty figures "have to be considered as the absolute minimum" and expressed hope that peace will come soon.
"Yet again, the Iraqi ordinary citizen continues to suffer from violence and terrorism. 2014 has seen the highest number of causalities since the violence in 2006-2007. This is a very sad state of affairs," Mladenov said.
In 2013, the U.N. said 7,818 civilians were killed in Iraq.