A total of 68 Iraqis were killed and another 122 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in April, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Of the overall figures, the number of civilians killed, excluding police, was 64, while the number of injured was 122, the UN agency said in its monthly statement released on Wednesday. Anbar was the worst affected Governorate, with 53 civilian casualties (24 killed, 29 injured), followed by Baghdad with 8 killed and 30 injured, and Kirkuk with 10 killed and 21 injured. “The casualty figures reported continue steadily to decline after the military defeat of Dae’sh (Islamic State) last year. This is good news, but the best news will be when Iraq is completely free of the threat of terrorism and is at peace,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Ján Kubiš.
In a statement on its website, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) expressed on Wednesday deep concern over violence in Iraqi Kurdistan region, saying “is deeply concerned about the violence and the reported casualties during demonstrations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the last two days, and calls for restraint and calm on all sides”. It stressed that people have the right to participate in peaceful demonstrations, and the authorities in KRI have the responsibility of protecting their citizens, including peaceful protesters. KRI security forces also are urged to exercise maximum restraint dealing with the demonstrators. UNAMI also exhorted demonstrators to avoid any act of violence, including the destruction of public and private properties. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq urged the authorities to respect and protect the media, after NRT TV was ordered to suspend its broadcasts because of the content of its reporting on the demonstrations. “The Mission urges the media to abide by the law, while emphasizing the critical role of free and impartial media in any democratic society”, the statement concluded. Several media reported that Kurdish forces have launched a wide-scale arrest campaign in Sulaymaniyah to silence demonstrators, who have protested since Monday because of delayed salary payments and poor services.
A military source, who preferred anonymity, declared that on Friday bombs planned by IS, remnants of the battles against Islamic State, exploded injuring several soldiers in al-Rayhana, East of Annah town. The source did not provide details about the number of the wounded, who were taken to hospital for treatment. Iraqi Security troops still continue to liberate the regions in Western Anbar from the landmines planted during the war against the militant group. Iraqi army announced the total liberation of the”town of Annah and neighboring Rayhana area in September. Troops also recaptured Akashat region, between Rutba town, on borders with Jordan, and Qaim, on borders with Syria. Late October, Operations were launched to recapture Qaim and Rawa towns, which have been held by the extremist group since 2014. On Friday” Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi proclaimed the liberation of Qaim in record time while operations in Rawa are expected to be launched soon. Since the proclamation of the “Islamic Caliphate” in 2014 violence in the country has increased considerably. During October one-hundred and fourteen Iraqi civilians were killed, while 244 others were wounded as result of terrorism, violence and armed conflicts according to a monthly release by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).