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Almost 7,000 Iraqi Civilians Killed in Armed Conflict in 2016: UN

According to United Nations, almost 7,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of terrorism and armed conflict in the country throughout 2016.

Almost 7,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of terrorism and armed conflict in the country throughout 2016, the United Nations said Tuesday; Sputnik reported.

"In 2016, UNAMI recorded a total of 19,266 civilian casualties: 6,878 killed and 12,388 wounded," the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement. The figure omits casualties in the Anbar province for May, July, August and December as the Anbar Health Department did not provide the relevant data. The last month of 2016 saw the least number of civilian casualties except June, with 385 people killed, excluding police casualties. Almost 1,000 died in November and over 1,000 in October. The number of those injured came to 1,060 in December.

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Jan Kubis noted in the UNAMI statement that the December casualty figure was low, but stressed that terrorist attacks increased toward the end of the month. Kubis also noted Monday's deadly attacks in Baghdad, which the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) claimed responsibility for. Monday's suicide bombing at a local market in Baghdad's Shiite-dominated Sadr City killed at least 35 people and wounded 60, while a car bomb in the center of the city killed and wounded 7 people, and an explosion near Jawadir hospital killed 11 people.

This is, no doubt, an attempt by Daesh to divert attention from their losses in Mosul and, unfortunately, it is the innocent civilians who are paying the price," Kubis said, as quoted in the statement. Iraq has been gripped by violence since mid-2014, when the IS took over vast swathes of the country after invading from neighboring war-torn Syria.

The terrorist group, which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia, took over Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul as well as most of the Anbar province. The Iraqi operation to liberate Mosul has been ongoing since October 17. The offensive is led by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi soldiers backed by the US-led anti-terror coalition.

Source: Al Alam News Network

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