UN says 2014 bloodiest for Iraq since 2006-2007 violence

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UNITED NATIONS: A total of 12,282 civilian were killed and another 23,126 injured in Iraq in the year of 2014, making it the deadliest since the sectarian violence seized the nation in 2006 and 2007, the United Nations said Friday.

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The casualty figures for last year stood at their highest in more than five years amid a spate of deadly violence that has been convulsing the Middle East country, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

“Yet again, the Iraqi ordinary citizen continues to suffer from violence and terrorism,” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN secretary- general’s special representative and head of UNAMI, said in a press release.

Since the beginning of 2014, Iraq has experienced a surge in violence as militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launch an ongoing offensive against the government, threatening the country’s overall stability as well as the lives of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The country experienced the peak of devastation in June with a total of 4,126 civilian casualties.

In December alone, 1,101 Iraqis were killed and another 1,868 wounded in what UNAMI defined as “acts of terrorism and violence.” UNAMI also noted that Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, was the worst- affected governorate for the month of December with a total of 1, 051 casualties reported.

The numbers might be underestimated given the difficulties in conducting on-the-ground verifications of casualty figures. The UN mission said that the figures reported “have to be considered as the absolute minimum.”

In the press release, Mladenov condemned the “very sad state of affairs” afflicting Iraq and voiced hope that 2015 would usher in a glimmer of peace and urged political actors to unite in finding “peaceful solutions to the problems that face the country.”

“I do hope that 2015 will be a year in which this can be done,” Mladenov added. PNA

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