BEIRUT: Violence in Iraq killed at least 12,282 civilians last year, the deadliest since the sectarian strife of 2007, United Nations officials said.
“Yet again, the Iraqi ordinary citizen continues to suffer from violence and terrorism…. This is a very sad state of affairs,” Nickolay Mladenov, head of the U.N. political mission in Iraq, said in a statement.
Officials cautioned that “the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.” The U.N. said violence injured 23,126 Iraqi civilians in 2014.
Most of the deaths—about 8,500 — came during the second half of the year amid Islamic State’s major offensive. Militants seized control of large areas of Iraq, including Mosul, the country’s second-largest city.
In December, 1,101 Iraqis were killed by violence, including 651 civilians, 29 policemen and 421 members of the security forces, officials said. The deadliest area was Baghdad, the capital, where 320 civilians died, followed by Anbar province to the west, where 164 were killed.
In 2013, the U.N. reported 7,818 Iraqi civilians killed. TNS