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UN Chief Names Special Envoy To Iraq

Nickolay Mladenov in 2011, when he was Bulgaria's foreign minister
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov as his special envoy to Iraq, according to a UN statement.

The UN says more than 1,000 Iraqis -- mainly civilians -- were killed in sectarian violence in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, as security continues to deteriorate in Iraq amid a steep increase in Sunni Islamist attacks against the Shi'ite-led government.

Ban said on July 29 that he was alarmed by the increased violence in Iraq that was "aimed at ripping apart the country's social fabric."

Mladenov, who was Bulgaria's foreign affairs minister from 2010 to 2013, replaces former German diplomat Martin Kobler, who has been has been appointed Ban's special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo.