BAGHDAD: Violence in Iraq has killed more than 5,500 civilians over the first six months of the year, the U.N. said Friday in a new report that documents the massive humanitarian toll of an ongoing jihadist and tribal-led anti-government offensive in the country.
In its report, the U.N. mission to Iraq said at least 5,576 civilians were killed and another 11,665 wounded in Iraq from Jan. 1 through the end of June. Another 1.2 million people have been driven from their homes by the violence, it said.
The pace of civilian deaths over the first six months marked a sharp increase over the previous year. In all of 2013, the U.N. reported just over 7,800 civilians killed, which was the highest annual death toll in years.
The fighting “has inflicted untold hardship and suffering on the civilian population with large-scaled killings, injuries and destruction and damage of livelihoods and property,” the U.N. said.
The U.N. urged all sides in the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians, and to respect international law and humanitarian law.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 19, 2014, on page 12.