Violence in Iraq reaches new heights

Unrest killed almost 1,000 people in July, government figures show, making it the deadliest month since April 2008.

    Violence in Iraq reaches new heights
    Recent attacks have targetted both Shia and Sunni mosques [AFP]

    Violence in Iraq killed 989 people in July, government figures has shown, making it the deadliest month since April 2008.

    The dead comprised 778 civilians, 88 police, 55 soldiers and 68 armed men, according to the figures released on Wednesday.

    They were compiled by the Iraqi health, interior and defence ministries.

    Violence also wounded 1,567 people in July - 1,356 civilians, 122 police and 89 soldiers.

    The figures make July the deadliest month since 2008, when Iraq was emerging from a bloody sectarian conflict.

    In April of that year, 1,428 people were killed, according to official figures - 966 civilians, 69 police, 38 soldiers and 355 armed men.

    Iraq has faced years of attacks by armed groups, but analysts say widespread discontent among the Sunni Arab minority, which the government has failed to address, has fuelled this year's spike in unrest.

    Sunnis accuse the Shia-led government of marginalising and targeting their community, including unwarranted arrests and terrorism charges.

    Protests that erupted in Sunni areas at the end of 2012 are still ongoing.

    In addition to major security problems, the government is also failing to provide adequate basic services such as electricity and clean water, and corruption is widespread.

    Political squabbling has paralysed the government, which has passed almost no major legislation in years.

    SOURCE: AFP


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