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Nearly 800 killed in Iraq's bloodiest month this year: U.N.

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Iraq deadNearly 800 people were killed in violence across Iraq in May, the United Nations said on Sunday, making it the deadliest month so far this year.

Of the total 799 people killed, 196 were members of the Iraqi security forces, and the rest were civilians - often victims of attacks by Sunni Islamist insurgents who have been regaining ground and momentum in Iraq over the past year.

The real toll is in fact higher because the UN figures do not include casualties in the western province of Anbar, where the Iraqi army has been fighting tribal and insurgent groups since they overran two cities at the start of the year.

Despite deteriorating security, Iraq's incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki won the largest share of parliamentary seats in national elections last month, dealing a blow to his opponents who blame him for leading the country to ruin.

Bloodshed remains below the levels seen in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian Shi'ite-Sunni killings reached their peak, but last year was Iraq's deadliest since violence began to ease in 2008.


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