ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has released its monthly casualty figures which show a significant dip in deaths and injuries when compared to previous months.
According to a UNAMI statement, a total of 32 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 32 injured “in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict” in the country in December 2018.
Nineveh recorded the highest total casualty figure of any of Iraq's provinces at 26, with seven people killed and 19 wounded. Baghdad had the second highest casualty number, but with a far higher percentage of lethal incidents, with 17 deaths and three injuries, followed by Salahuddin province with three in each category.
“The figures include ordinary citizens, and others considered civilians at the time of death or injury, such as police in non-combat functions, civil [defense], personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel,” the statement said.
Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, in her post since the beginning of November, noted that the figures are “more than mere statistics.”
“Every civilian death documented by UNAMI over the years represents a family grieving and struggling to come to terms with its loss. Each injury or maiming of a civilian represents immense individual and societal suffering.”
Despite Iraq declaring a “final victory” against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in December 2017, the extremist group continues to carry out sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in areas of the country liberated from their control.
The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, recently met with Hennis-Plasschaert where he stressed that the reasons which led to IS’ emergence must be dealt with.
“It is true that the extremist group has been defeated on the military side, but the reasons for the emergence of terrorism must be addressed, or it will appear again,” Barzani warned.
Editing by John J. Catherine