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3 Jan, 2015

2014 one of Iraq’s bloodiest years as casualty rates soar, UN mission reports

United Nations, (UN News Centre) 2 January 2015 – Casualty figures for Iraq in 2014 were at their highest in over five years amid a spate of deadly violence which has been convulsing the country, the United Nations mission in the country reported today.

According to the latest figures issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), last year saw a total of 12,282 Iraqis killed and another 23,126 injured, registering as the worst outburst of violence experienced by the country since the 2006-2007 biennium.

Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov. Photo: UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)

“Yet again, the Iraqi ordinary citizen continues to suffer from violence and terrorism,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMI, in a press release.

Since the beginning of 2014, Iraq has experienced a surge in violence as militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conduct an ongoing offensive against the Government, threatening the country’s overall stability as well as the lives of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

In December alone, 1,101 Iraqis were killed and another 1,868 were wounded in what UNAMI defined as “acts of terrorism and violence,” The country experienced the peak of devastation in June with a total of 4,126 civilian casualties. UNAMI also noted that Baghdad was the worst-affected Governorate for the month of December with a total of 1,051 casualties reported.

Nonetheless, due to difficulties in conducting on-the-ground verifications of casualty figures, the UN Mission warned that the figures reported “have to be considered as the absolute minimum.”

In the press release, Mr. Mladenov condemned the “very sad state of affairs” afflicting Iraq and voiced hope that 2015 would usher in a glimmer of peace, as he urged political actors to unite in finding “peaceful solutions to the problems that face the country.”

“I do hope that 2015 will be a year in which this can be done,” he stated.