Violence claimed 662 Iraqi lives in June: UN
The United Nations (UN) says acts of terrorism and violence left more than 660 people dead in Iraq in the month of June.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 662 Iraqis lost their lives and 1,457 others sustained injuries last month.
The UN mission said that the number of the civilians killed stood at 382, and that there were 1,145 civilians among those injured. Violence also claimed the lives of 280 members of the Iraqi security forces, and 312 forces sustained injuries.
A large portion of the fatalities was recorded in the capital, Baghdad, where 236 civilians were killed and 742 others wounded.
The beleaguered northern province of Nineveh witnessed 56 deaths.
Jan Kubis, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, expressed regret about the fact that violence and casualties among civilians continued during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
“We had hoped for a period of calm during holy Ramadan, a month of peace and compassion, but unfortunately the violence continued to take its toll on civilians,” he said.
“The terrorists did not spare an occasion to strike at markets, mosques and areas where people gathered in order to exact maximum casualties among civilians, despite the religious occasion and in total disregard of the values of Islam,” he said.
The UN report came on the same day that the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) announced that 3.6 million children in Iraq, meaning one in five, are at the serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence, abduction and recruitment by Takfiri militant groups.
The UN body, in a statement titled “A Heavy Price for Children,” said that the number of children facing such hazards has soared by 1.3 million in 18 months, describing Iraq as “one of the most dangerous places in the world for children.”
The UNICEF report further said that a total of 1,496 children have been kidnapped in Iraq over the past two-and-a-half years, when foreign-sponsored militancy gripped the country, adding that the number translates to 50 children abducted on a monthly basis.
The UN agency called for an urgent action to protect children’s rights in Iraq, particularly an immediate cessation of the killing, maiming, and abduction of minors by Takfiri groups.
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.
Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization units, have been fighting the militants.