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2013 Deadliest Year Since 2008 In Iraq

2013 has been the deadliest year since 2008 in Iraq, according to casualty figures released by United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Thursday.

The total number of civilian casualties (including police) in 2013 has been the highest since 2008. A total of 7,818 people were killed and 17,981 injured in the past year. The death toll was 6,787 and the number of injured 20,178 in 2008.

"This is a sad and terrible record which confirms once again the urgent need for the Iraqi authorities to address the roots of violence to curb this infernal circle," the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Nickolay Mladenov, said.

The most violent month of 2013 was May, with a total of 3,154 civilian casualties recorded. 963 were killed and 2,191 wounded. Since April 2013, the total number of civilian casualties, including deaths and injuries due to violence, has been consistently above 1,500.

A total of 759 Iraqis were killed and another 1,345 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in December, according to the UNAMI figures.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq undertakes monitoring of the impact of armed violence and terrorism on Iraqi civilians in accordance with its mandate. UNAMI relies on direct investigation, along with credible secondary sources, in determining civilian casualties. UNAMI says its figures are conservative and may under-report the actual number of civilians killed and injured for a variety of reasons, which means the actual number of casualties may exceed the UN figures.

A total of 9,475 people were killed in Iraq in 2013, according to data compiled by Iraq Body Count, which claims to maintain the world's largest public database of violent civilian deaths since the 2003 US invasion of the country.

The death toll has more than doubled since last year, when the recorded civilians deaths were 4,500, Iraq Body Count says.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has found fertile ground in overall discontent and has attacked the Iraqi government by killing members of its army, its police force, its politicians and journalists, as well as its Shia population, it added.

Iraq has been witnessing frequent bombings and gun attacks for the past several months. Sectarian violence is at its highest since 2008 in the war-ravaged country.

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