UN says violence in Iraq amid Islamic State group war kills at least 1,375 people in January

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Kurdish Peshmerga fighters surround extremists inside a hotel near police headquarters in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Kurdish troops and the city’s security force have been trying to rout the IS group. Three gunmen subsequently took positions inside the hotel, located in the city center, triggering a firefight with the Kurds and the police. (AP Photo)

In this Thursday Jan. 29, 2015 photo, a Kurdish peshmerga fighter fires a weapon towards positions of the Islamic State group who are 500 meters or half a mile away, overlooking the strategic town of Sinjar, northern Iraq. Peshmerga fighters representing the lawful authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan fume against what they see as the recklessness of their allies in militias drawn from neighboring Syria and Turkey making progress painful and raising doubts about whether these groups can work together. At stake is ownership of Sinjar, the town that once was home to many of Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)

BAGHDAD — The United Nations mission to Iraq said Sunday that violence in the country amid the war against the extremist Islamic State group killed at least 1,375 people in January.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, put the number of civilians killed at 790, while identifying the rest as security forces members. It said at least 1,469 civilians and 771 security forces members were wounded.

It said the worst affected city was the capital, Baghdad, with 256 civilians killed and 758 wounded.

According to UNAMI figures, last year was the deadliest in Iraq since 2006-2007, with a total of 12,282 people killed and 23,126 wounded.

However, the U.N. says its numbers "have to be considered as the absolute minimum" as they do not include territories held by the Islamic State group, which is about a third of Iraq, and 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."

Also Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said two airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq's Anbar province killed or wounded 66 Islamic State group militants on Saturday.

Maan added that the group's spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, was among the wounded along with a field leader. He cited "intelligence reports" for the casualty estimates.

The Islamic State extremist group and other Sunni insurgents have seized control of wide areas in western and northern Iraq. The militants' offensive has thrown Iraq into its worst crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops.


Associated Press writer Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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