FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 file photo, a gunmen takes cover during clashes with Iraqi security forces outside Fallujah, Iraq.(AP Photo, File)
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The United Nations said Thursday it is concerned over the plight of civilians caught up in fighting in Iraq's besieged city of Fallujah, occupied by al-Qaeda-linked militants and other Sunni insurgent groups since late December.The U.N.'s mission to Iraq statement came as security forces intensified shelling inside the city, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, targeting gunmen holed up inside houses and government buildings. Thursday, two bombs, hidden in clothing stalls in the capital's al-Arabi wholesale market, went off simultaneously, killing six civilians and wounding 18 others, a police and medical official said on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief journalists.According to the U.N., 8,868 people were killed in Iraq last year -- the country's highest death toll since a peak of sectarian bloodletting in 2007 .
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