Amid fresh violence in Iraq, UN envoy tells authorities 'this carnage must stop'

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

3 July 2013 – The top United Nations official in Iraq today condemned in the strongest terms a wave of deadly attacks across the country and reiterated his calls on Government officials to halt the violence.

“This carnage must stop,” said Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

“I once again urge the Iraqi authorities to do their utmost and take all necessary measures to protect the people of Iraq from more bloodshed,” Mr. Kobler stressed.

Dozens of people were killed yesterday and many others injured in a series of bomb attacks and shootings that seem to have concentrated around public places, such as a crowded market.

Mr. Kobler said the “devastating terrorist attacks” again targeted innocent citizens struggling to build a more hopeful future for themselves and their children in a highly volatile environment.

“They follow two weeks during which we've seen an increasing number of attacks targeting cafés, football fields and other locations where people socialize and nurture the personal relationships and social fabric that are so important for a strong, prosperous country,” added Mr. Kobler.

He extended his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery.

This latest spate of violence comes amid what is considered one of the deadliest streaks on record for the Middle Eastern country, and a reversal in a trend that has seen violence ebb in recent years.

A total of 761 Iraqis were killed and another 1,771 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in June, UNAMI has reported.

Of those killed, 685 were civilians, including 131 civilian police. An additional 76 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were also killed.

Out of the 1,771 wounded, the vast majority – 1,610 including 221 civilian police – were civilians.

Baghdad was the worst-affected governorate with 950 civilian casualties followed by Salahuddin, Ninewa, Diyala and Anbar. Kirkuk, Babil, Wasit, Basra and Najaf also reported casualties, according to the Mission.

In April, 712 Iraqis were killed and more than 1,600 injured. In May, the death toll increased to 1,045 and more than 2,300 were wounded.

In a report issued last week, UNAMI said that at least 3,200 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 injured in during the second half of 2012 in a reversal of the trend that had seen violence decline in recent years.

The report warned that the upturn in armed violence requires greater civilian protection and strengthening of human rights institutions in the country.

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