The United Nations says at least 6,878 Iraqi civilians lost their lives last year due to violence perpetrated by Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement that 12,388 other civilians were injured in 2016.
UNAMI noted that the numbers “have to be considered as the absolute minimum,” citing its inability to verify civilian casualties in conflict areas as well as those who “died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care.”
Furthermore, the data did not include casualties among civilians in Iraq’s western Anbar Province for the months of May, July, August and December, it added.
The figures further showed that only in December 2016, a total of 386 civilians were killed and 1,066 more wounded in Iraq, with the worst affected areas being Nineveh Province and the capital city of Baghdad in descending order.
Violence had claimed the lives of at least 7,515 civilians in Iraq in 2015, according UNAMI figures.
Over the past months, Iraq has been rocked by a wave of bomb attacks, mostly claimed by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
The militants have recently increased their acts of violence across the country in revenge for the blows they have been suffering at the hands of Iraqi forces, particularly in the northern city of Mosul.
“This is, no doubt, an attempt by Daesh to divert attention from their losses in Mosul and, unfortunately, it is the innocent civilians who are paying the price,” said Jan Kubis, the special representative of UN Secretary General in Iraq and UNAMI head.
Daesh began its campaign of terror in northern and western Iraq in 2014.
Iraqi army soldiers and allied fighters are leading operations to win back militant-held regions.