GENEVA: More than 1,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed and roughly the same number injured in fighting and other violence in Iraq in June as Sunni militants swept through the north, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Victims include a number of confirmed summary executions committed by forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and prisoners killed by retreating Iraqi forces.
At least 757 civilians were killed and 599 injured in the northern provinces of Nineveh, Diyala and Saladdin from June 5-22, U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.
“This figure – which should be viewed very much as a minimum – includes a number of verified summary executions and extra-judicial killings of civilians, police, and soldiers who were hors combat,” he said. Others died in shelling and cross-fire.
At least another 318 people were killed and 590 injured during the same period in Baghdad and areas to the south, many due to at least six vehicle-borne bombs, he said.
Abductions continue to be reported in the northern provinces and in Baghdad, he said. They include 48 Turkish citizens abducted from Turkey’s consulate when ISIL captured Mosul and 40 Indian nationals working for an Iraqi construction firm who were also kidnapped, he said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday promised “intense and sustained” U.S. support for Iraq, but said the divided country would only survive if its leaders took urgent steps to bring it together. – Reuters