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2013 Saw Highest Iraqi Civilian Death Toll In Years

Civilian deaths in Iraq during 2013 were the worst in years, according to the UN and other observers.

The number of recorded civilian deaths varies widely, with the UN mission to Iraq putting it at 7,818 civilians in 2013.

But a British-based NGO, Iraq Body Count, put it higher at 9,475.

Both agencies call those tolls the highest since their figures for 2008, when Iraq was just recovering from a near civil war.

Violence in 2013 surged in April after the Shi'ite-led government staged a crackdown on a Sunni protest camp.

Since then, Iraq's Al-Qaeda branch has capitalized on soaring sectarian tensions and on the civil war in neighboring Syria to rebuild itself.

It has targeted civilians with bombing attacks, particularly in Shi'ite areas of Baghdad.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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