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UN says more than 800 people killed in Iraq in August

Sep. 1, 2013 - 10:13AM   |  
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BAGHDAD — More than 800 people were killed in Iraq in violence throughout August, the UN said Sunday. That was down somewhat from July, but still one of the highest monthly tolls in recent years.

Violence in Iraq has spiked following a deadly crackdown by the Shiite-led government on a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq in April.

Attacks including waves of multiple coordinated car bombings, mostly blamed on al-Qaida’s local branch, target the military, police and Shiite civilians. The scale of the bloodshed is intensifying fears Iraq is heading back toward the widespread Sunni-Shiite sectarian killing that peaked in 2006 and 2007. Security forces have tried to ratchet up counterinsurgency operations in response, but do not appear to have made a major dent in the pace of attacks.

The UN mission in Iraq said it recorded 804 people killed in August, including members of Iraq’s security forces but not insurgents. The capital Baghdad was the part of the country worst affected, with 317 killed. The U.N. figure was lower than its July death toll, which stood at 1,057.

The report says a total of about 5,000 people were killed since the start of 2013.

The UN said that 716 of those killed in August were civilians and 88 were Iraqi security forces.

Attacks continued Sunday, leaving six dead.

A roadside bomb went off near an outdoor market, killing three people including a woman and wounding four others in the Shiite town of Dujail, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

Also, a car bomb exploded in a residential area in the in the ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khormato, killing three people and wounding 16, said the town’s police chief, Col. Hussein Ali Rasheed.

Tuz Khormato, a frequent flashpoint for violence, sits in a band of territory contested by Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad.

Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualty figures for both attacks. The officials other than Col. Rasheed spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

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