Increasing violence in Iraq taking toll on civilians, security forces, UN warns

The aftermath of a bombing attack in Iraq (file photo). Photo: IRIN

8 April 2013 – The United Nations mission in Iraq today expressed concern at the rising violence in the Middle Eastern country, which killed more than 200 civilians and wounded over 800 people last month alone.

“The United Nations deplores the continuing loss of civilian life resulting from acts of terrorism and armed conflict,” said the Chief Human Rights Officer of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Francesco Motta.

“Of equal concern is the toll on members of Iraq’s security forces who are called upon on a daily basis to combat terrorism and violence and to protect the lives of civilians and civilian infrastructure,” he added.

According to UNAMI, at least 229 civilians were killed and a further 853 were wounded in acts of terrorism and armed violence in Iraq during March. A further 227 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed and 300 were wounded as a result of such attacks.

Iraq continues to suffer from attacks perpetrated by a number of terrorist groups, among them Al-Qaida in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq. Over the past month, the UN has repeatedly condemned the wave of attacks against protesters, media professionals and other civilians.

Violence in recent weeks has also affected the run-up to the local elections, which will be held across the country on 20 April. Attacks have reportedly killed at least 10 candidates.

The violence has also affected civilian infrastructure. The most affected areas remain Baghdad, the capital, and the governorates of Anbar, Salahuddin and the disputed areas of Ninewa and Kirkuk, UNAMI said in a news release.


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