Death toll hits 2,885 in Iraq's violence in November: UN

BAGHDAD, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Terrorist acts, violence and armed conflicts in Iraq killed 2,885 Iraqis and wounded 1,380 others in November, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on Thursday.

The figures include 926 civilians killed and 930 wounded, with1,959 security members killed and 450 wounded, said the UNAMI.

The casualties in Iraq's western province of Anbar were excluded, as the casualty figures there for the month were unavailable due to the volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services, the statement said.

"The casualty figures are staggering, with civilians accounting for a significant number of the victims," the statement quoted the UN envoy to Iraq and the UNAMI chief Jan Kubis as saying.

Kubis added that Islamic State (IS) group used civilian homes as firing positions, and abducted and forcibly moved civilians, effectively using them as human shields.

The Iraqi security forces are exerting every efforts during their military operations in Mosul to avoid causing casualties among civilians despite IS continuous tactics to the contrary, Kubis noted.

He said the security forces are often taking additional casualties as a result of protecting civilians, according to the statement.

"All actions necessary must be undertaken to ensure the protection of the civilian inhabitants from the effects of armed conflict and violence," Kubis said.

UNAMI statement came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from its last major stronghold in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.

Iraq has witnessed intensifying violence since the IS extremist group took control of parts of its northern and western regions in June, 2014.

Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups, such as the IS, on the U.S. that invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003, under the pretext of seeking to destroy weapons of mass destruction in the country.

The war led to the ouster and eventual execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but no such weapons have been found. Enditem

[ Editor: meng ]


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