Tuesday, January 16, 2007

CNN -- More than 34,000 civilians were "violently killed" across Iraq last year, with an average of 94 killed every day, according to a new United Nations report.

The grim figures came on a day when bombs, including a "massive" car bomb near a university, killed at least 38 Iraqis in Baghdad.

The bimonthly Human Rights Report of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, covering November and December, tallied the casualties of nearly a year of relentless sectarian strife, which skyrocketed after the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra on February 22.

"According to information made available to UNAMI, 6,376 civilians were violently killed in November and December 2006, with no less than 4,731 in Baghdad, most of them as a result of gunshot wounds," the report said.

"Compared to the number killed in September and October, there has been a slight reduction. It is evident however that violence has not been contained but has continued to claim a very high number of innocent victims. During 2006, a total of 34,452 civilians have been violently killed and 36,685 wounded."

The report said the "situation is particularly grave in Baghdad" and that "sectarian violence, especially in Baghdad, is singled out as a major cause for an ever-growing trend in displacement and migration of all Iraqis, as well as the targeting of various professional groups, including educators, medical professionals, journalists, judges and lawyers, religious and political leaders."

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