Nearly 400 Iraqi Civilians Killled in February

A total of 392 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 613 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in February 2017*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The number of civilians killed in February (not including police) was 385, while the number injured (not including police) was 609.

Ninewa was the most affected Governorate, with 451 civilian casualties (201 killed, 250 injured). Baghdad Governorate followed with 120 killed and 300 injured, and Salahadin had 09 killed and 13 injured.

According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 86 civilian casualties (42 killed and 44 injured). Figures were updated until 28 February, inclusive.

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, lamented the continuing loss of life among Iraqi civilians. He condemned Daesh’s deliberate targeting of civilians and saluted the Iraqi security forces for professionalism in pursuing the terrorists while seeking to minimize civilian casualties.

“As the Iraqi security forces stepped up the military operations to liberate the remaining parts of Mosul from Daesh control, the terrorists struck again, targeting civilians with cowardly bombings to ease the pressure on the frontlines. But Daesh’s sinister attempts have failed to weaken the resolve of the people and Government of Iraq to rid the country once and for all from the scourge of terrorism.”

Mr. Kubiš added: “The security forces are making steady progress in Mosul and, despite the incessant provocations from the terrorists, are following the pre-planned concept of operations whose priority is securing the lives of Iraqis and minimizing civilian casualties. The Government and security forces of Iraq are commended for these actions, and we continue to urge that everything be done to ensure that civilians are kept out of harm’s way.”

CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted in the February casualty report. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have 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. Since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul and other areas in Ninewa, UNAMI has received several reports of incidents involving civilian casualties, which at times it has been unable to verify. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

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