The Associated Press reports: The violence in Iraq has killed more than 5,500 civilians over the first six months of the year, according to a report by the United Nations that documents the massive humanitarian toll of the Sunni militant offensive.
The Islamic State (Isis) and other Sunni insurgents seized control of the city of Falluja, as well as part of nearby Ramadi in Anbar province in early January. The militants then launched an offensive in June that has brought a huge swath of northern and western Iraq under their control.
In its report, the UN mission to Iraq says at least 5,576 civilians were killed and another 11,665 wounded from 1 January until the end of June. Another 1.2 million have been driven from their homes by the violence, it adds.
The pace of civilian deaths over the first six months marked a sharp increase over the previous year. In all of 2013, the UN reported just over 7,800 civilians killed, which was the highest annual death toll in years. [Continue reading…]