Over 1000 people killed in Iraq in January
January was the deadliest month in Iraq in more than five years
More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in January, official data revealed on Friday as security forces grapple with a surge in bloodshed and a standoff with militants.
The violence, the country's worst since 2008, comes with elections looming in less than three months amid fears Iraq may be slipping back into the all-out conflict that left tens of thousands dead in earlier years.
World powers have urged the Shiite-led government to reach out to the disaffected Sunni minority, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has taken a hard line and trumpeted wide-ranging security operations that he and other officials insist are having an impact.
A total of 1,013 people— 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen—died as a result of the violence, according to data compiled by the ministries of Health, the Interior and Defense.
The figures also revealed that 2,024 people were wounded: 1,633 civilians, 238 soldiers and 153 policemen. Security forces killed 189 militants and arrested 458 more.
January's overall death toll is the highest released by the ministries since April 2008, when 1,073 people were killed.
The toll confirms a months-long surge in bloodshed in Iraq, which has been hit by near-daily militant attacks as well as the takeover of an entire city on Baghdad's doorstep and parts of another by anti-government fighters.