UN says more than 1,000 killed in 17 days in Iraq as govt battles jihadists

He said the numbers ‘should be viewed very much as a minimum.’ At least 757 civilians were killed and another 599 injured in the provinces of Nineveh, Diyala and Salah al-Din, he said. A number of the deaths were due to ‘verified summary executions and extra-judicial killings of civilians, police, and soldiers who were hors combat.

At least 318 more people — not necessarily all civilians — had been killed and 590 injured in Baghdad and areas in the south, ‘many of them as a result of at least six separate vehicle-borne bombs,’ he said.

Militants, led by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have since early June overrun major areas of five provinces and driven to within less than 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Baghdad. The militant onslaught has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, alarmed world leaders, and put Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki under pressure at home and abroad.

In addition to the killings, abductions by the brutal jihadist group, which has roots in al-Qaida, are also reportedly continuing across the affected provinces, Colville said.

While some of those who had been abducted had since been released, including 16 Georgians working for an Iraqi communications company, Colville decried that bodies of some abductees were also turning up, many with gunshots to the back of the head.
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