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UN: Violence in Iraq Killed 1,375 in January

Shia Islamist fighter from the Iraqi Badr Brigade militia - ReutersShia Islamist fighter from the Iraqi Badr Brigade militia - ReutersViolence in Iraq killed 1,375 people in January, month eight of the battle against Islamic State terrorists who swept through large areas of the country last summer, the United Nations said Sunday.
 
"A total of 1,375 Iraqis were killed and another 2,240 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in January," the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said.
 
UNAMI said at least 1,101 people were killed in December, capping the most violent year for Iraq since 2007, when sectarian bloodshed between the Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority was at its peak.
 
The UN mission cautioned that the real toll could be higher as the conflict between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State  group had hampered efforts to verify casualty information.
 
"UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence."
 
Figures compiled by the health, interior and defense ministries put the January toll at 1,408 dead and 2,008 wounded, including troops as well as civilians.
 
ISIS spearheaded a lightning offensive last June that overran much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad.
 
Iraqi federal forces, Kurdish troops, Shiite militiamen and Sunni tribal fighters are all battling against the jihadists.
 
A US-led coalition is carrying out air strikes against ISIS and also advising and training Iraqi forces.

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