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Iraq

Iraq civilian casualties in November lowest in 6 years: UN

By Rudaw 2/12/2018
Iraq has known near constant instability and insurgency since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. File photo: AFP
Iraq has known near constant instability and insurgency since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Forty-one Iraqi civilians were killed and 73 injured in acts of terrorism, violence, and armed conflict nationwide in November this year – the lowest monthly toll in six years, according to United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). 

November saw a positive improvement on UNAMI’s October figures, when 69 civilians were killed and 105 wounded. 

“These are not just figures. They are human beings with families,” said Jan Kubis, Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General, in a statement Sunday.

“But these figures, sad as they are, also reflect the continuing downward trend in the level of violence as the country recovers from its fight with terrorism and presses ahead towards a stable, prosperous future,” he added. 

The figures, which UNAMI started publishing in 2012, include ordinary civilians and those considered civilian at the time of death – including police in non-combat functions, civil defence, personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel, the UNAMI statement said.

The highest toll for November was recorded in Baghdad Governorate, where 23 civilians died and 32 were injured. This was followed by Nineveh with eight killed and 19 injured, and Anbar with four killed and 15 injured. 

However, UNAMI said the figures should be treated as an absolute minimum, as a number of cases could not be independently verified. Anbar Governorate, for instance, remains volatile, making reports provided by the Health Directorate open to inaccuracies. 

Iraq has known near constant instability and insurgency since Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003. Large parts of the country were under control of ISIS for some three years. The jihadists were militarily defeated in 2017, but remain a serious security threat. 

Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces carry out regular operations against ISIS sleeper cells and small militant groups.

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