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Iran Press TV

UN says 980 killed in Iraq in December

Iran Press TV

Fri Jan 1, 2016 3:30PM

The United Nations says nearly 1,000 people were killed by violence in the Arab country in December 2015.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, known as UNAMI, said in a statement Friday that the violence in the last month of 2015 claimed the lives of 980 Iraqis, up from 888 the previous month.

The mission said 506 of those killed in December were civilians and the rest were security forces and those assisting the Iraqi armed forces in an ongoing battle against terrorists, including the paramilitary fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga troops. It said 1,244 civilians were wounded in the same time span.

Baghdad was the worst-affected province with 261 killed, followed by Nineveh Province with 68, the statement said, adding that some 124 civilians were also killed in Anbar, a desert province in western Iraq where the Iraqi forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

The UN said, however, that it could not fully verify the Anbar figures of casualties as the situation on the ground has become increasingly volatile and services have been disrupted.

On December 28, Iraqi military and volunteer fighters declared that they had recaptured Anbar's provincial capital of Ramadi, although later reports said some neighborhoods of the city were still under the control of Daesh.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said the liberation of Ramadi would pave the way for Iraq's long-anticipated offensive into the city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, which has been under the control of Daesh since the summer of 2014. Abadi said 2016 will be the last year for Daesh in Iraq.

Iraqi sources said more than 21,000 people, including some 15,000 civilians, lost their lives in battles and attacks across the country in 2015, adding that more than 14,000 people were wounded in the violence.

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