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U.N. Says Nearly 1,000 Iraqis Were Killed In September

The United Nations mission in Iraq has some grim news today: 979 Iraqis were killed in attacks during the month of September.

That means that 5,740 Iraqis have been killed this year, exceeding the total killed in 2012.

The AP reports:

"Sectarian bloodshed has surged to levels not seen in Iraq since 2008. More than 5,000 people have been killed since April, when a deadly government raid on a Sunni protest camp unleashed a new round of violence that showed al-Qaida in Iraq is still strong despite years of U.S.-Iraqi offensives against the terror group. ...

"While violence has never stopped in Iraq, the recent uptick in double-digit daily death tolls has stunned many Iraqis after several years of relative calm. It also has raised fears that long-dormant Shiite militias could renew their campaign of retaliatory violence.

"'If the security forces are not capable of protecting us, we will protect ourselves and end the misery,' said Hatem Muhsin, who lives in Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad. 'The sectarian war has just started.'"

If you've paid marginal attention, you might remember stories about an assault on a funeral, or a wave of car bombs, or the bombing of a Sunni mosque.

But, the picture at the top of this post really tells the story of human suffering.

It was taken today by AP photographer Jaber al-Helo and shows Mahmoud Abdel Rahman carrying the lifeless body of his eleven-month-old grandson.

He was killed along with his mother, when a car bomb exploded and caused their house to collapse.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.