691 killed in violence, armed conflicts in Iraq in August: UN

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BAGHDAD, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) — Terrorist acts, violence and armed conflicts killed 691 Iraqis and wounded 1,016 others in August across Iraq, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on Thursday.
The figures included 473 civilians killed and 813 wounded, with 218 security members killed and 203 wounded, the UNAMI said in a statement.
The casualties in Iraq’s western province of Anbar were excluded, as the civilian casualty figures there for the month were unavailable, the statement said.
“The bloodletting in Iraq continues without letup. Casualty figures remain too high and civilians again are bearing the brunt,” the statement quoted the UN envoy to Iraq and the UNAMI chief Jan Kubis as saying.
Kubis strongly condemned such acts against civilians, calling on all Iraqi factions to unite against violence.
“We reiterate our call on the parties to undertake every effort to safeguard the lives of civilians and urge Iraqis in general to show strength in unity in the face of this unrelenting violence,” he said.
Iraq has witnessed intensifying violence since the Islamic State (IS) 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.

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