Mahmoud Abdel Rahman carried the body of his 11-month old grandson, Latif, who was killed along with his mother on Monday when their house collapsed after a car-bomb attack in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. He is followed by mourners carrying the coffin of the mother, Hasnah Abdel Rasul.
BAGHDAD – The U.N. mission in Iraq said Tuesday that 979 people died in September, most civilians caught up in the violence by insurgents led by al-Qaida in Iraq, who appear determined to rekindle the tensions between Sunnis and Shiites that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007.
Iraq is going through its worst surge of violence since 2008, with near-daily attacks and relentless bombings blamed on hard-line Sunni insurgents. The latest attacks followed a deadly crackdown by the Shiite-led government on a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq in April.
September’s toll pushed the total number of people killed since April to more than 5,000. Among the dead last month were 887 civilians. The rest were security forces.
The figure was slightly lower than the death toll in July, which was the highest since 2008 at 1,057, but it underscored the rising violence after a long period of relative calm.
The U.N. report said the capital, Baghdad, was the hardest hit area: 418 people were killed there in September. It said 2,133 people were wounded in last month’s violence.
The U.N. representative in Baghdad said the report raised a stark alarm and called on Iraq’s political rivals to come together.
Attacks continued on Tuesday, killing at least six people.