UN: more than 1,375 people killed in Iraq this month

UN: more than 1,375 people killed in Iraq this month

[JURIST] The UN mission in Iraq said Sunday that at least 1,375 people have been killed in January due to violence amid the ongoing conflict [BBC backgrounder]. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq [official website] found that out of those killed, approximately 790 were civilians. At least 1,469 civilians and 771 security forces were injured. The group also noted that the worst affected city was Baghdad where 256 civilians were killed and 758 wounded. Ultimately, the past year was the deadliest the country has seen since 2006-2007, with a total of 12,282 killed and 23,126 wounded. However, the group pointed out [AP report] that the numbers “have to be considered as the absolute minimum” since they do not include the areas held by the Islamic State group, which comprise about a third of Iraq. Also, there is the potential of those who lost their lives due to “secondary effects of violence … (like) exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care.”

The people of Iraq have seen a great deal of violence during the current conflict with the Islamic State [JURIST backgrounder]. Last week Human Rights Watch (HRW) released its annual World Report [JURIST report], in which it criticized the role of Middle Eastern governments in sustaining the Islamic State. In December Amnesty International issued a briefing [JURIST report] that said the Islamic State has exposed Iraq’s Yezdi minority to violence and torture. Also in December the UN Children’s Fund issued a press release [JURIST report] declaring 2014 “a devastating year for children” citing the 15 million children affected by violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, the State of Palestine, Syria and Ukraine. In October HRW reported [JURIST report] that Islamic State militants carried out mass executions of Shiite inmates in Iraq after seizing the Badoush Prison near Mosul in June.