Iraq says death toll in June highest since May 2007

AFP
Shiite militiamen in Karbala on June 26, 2014
Shiite militiamen in Karbala on June 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/Mohammed Sawaf)

Baghdad (AFP) - Nearly 2,000 people were killed in Iraq this month, the highest figure since May 2007, according to government figures released on Monday.

Figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence showed that a total of 1,922 people died in June -- 1,393 civilians, 380 soldiers and 149 policemen.

A further 2,610 people were wounded, the figures showed, including 1,745 civilians, 644 soldiers and 221 policemen.

The surge in violence comes with militants led by the Islamic State jihadist group having overrun stretches of territory across five provinces north and west of Baghdad in an offensive that has alarmed world leaders.

Iraqi forces wilted in the face of the initial assault, which saw major cities such as Mosul and Tikrit fall out of government control, but soldiers, police and allied fighters have since performed more capably.

The latest toll comes on the eve of the opening of Iraq's parliament after elections on April 30, with world leaders and religious clerics urging the country's fractious politicians to unite to see off the insurgent threat.