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Iraq death toll hits 1,119 - in March alone Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Iraq death toll hits 1,119 - in March alone

The figures include 575 civilians killed and another 1,196 wounded [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 April, 2016

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The UN mission to Iraq has revealed a further 1,561 were injured in March, a steep increase on the previous month.

The United Nations says violence killed at least 1,119 Iraqis in March, a steep increase from the previous month, as the Islamic State group stepped up attacks on civilians, despite suffering battlefield setbacks.

Another 1,561 Iraqis were wounded during the month, the UN mission to Iraq said in a statement.

The figures include 575 civilians killed and another 1,196 wounded. The other casualties were among Iraqi security forces, including Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga and government-allied militiamen.

The worst-hit area was the capital, Baghdad, with 259 civilians killed and 770 wounded, followed by the northern Ninevah province, which is almost entirely controlled by IS, with 133 killed and 89 wounded.

In February, there were 670 Iraqis killed and 1,290 wounded.

The UN said it could not verify reports of large numbers of casualties from secondary effects of violence, including those who fled their homes and later died from exposure to the elements or lack of food, water or healthcare.

UN envoy to Iraq Jan Kubis said he was "extremely disturbed at the continuing loss of life and injury as a result of terrorism, violence and armed conflict".

"It is totally unacceptable that civilians should bear the brunt of violence," Kubis said in the statement.

The IS group seized much of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014 and established a self-styled Islamic "caliphate" in the areas of Iraq and Syria under its control, imposing a violent interpretation of Islamic law.

Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition have advanced against IS on a number of fronts in recent months. But the extremists have meanwhile carried out a number of large-scale bombings targeting civilians in Baghdad and elsewhere.

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