Middle EastWar

Civilian casualties in Iraq remained steady in December

The number of civilians killed and wounded in Iraq in December rose slightly from the previous month, a figure that the United Nations special envoy called disappointing as military operations against Islamic State wound down.

The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq released its monthly figures on Tuesday, reporting that a total of 69 civilians were killed last month and 142 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict. In November, 63 civilians were killed and 140 injured.

“Casualty figures for the month of December 2017 have remained at a similar level to November, which is disappointing,” U.N. Special Envoy for Iraq Jan Kubris said. “I very much hope that, as we move in the new year, these figures will fall rapidly as much-needed peace and stability return to Iraq.”

UNAMI recorded 122 civilian casualities (24 killed, 98 injured) in Baghdad, the worst affected governorate, with significant casualty numbers in Salahaddin and Kirkuk. The mission has not obtained numbers from the Anbar health department, it noted.

For the year, UNAMI recored 3,298 civilians killed and 4,781 wounded, excluding figures for November and December in Anbar governorate, where numbers were not available.

On December 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in the fight against ISIS after more than three years. UNAMI estimates that a minimum of 26,172 Iraqi civilians were killed between June 2014, when ISIS first overran the country, and December 2017.

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