The United Nations mission to Iraq has said violence claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.
The UN figures issued Wednesday gave a total of 759 people killed in December alone, including 661 civilians and 98 members of the security forces, the Associated Press reported.
The UN’s monthly figures for both civilians and security forces over the year totaled 8,868.
Violence in Iraq surged in April after fierce clashes erupted between security forces and protestors.
Iraq’s al-Qaeda branch has capitalized on the soaring sectarian tensions and on the conflict in neighboring Syria to rebuild itself. It has targeted civilians, particularly in Shiite areas of Baghdad, with waves of coordinated car bombings and other deadly attacks.
Violence in Iraq has surged this year under support of some foreign regimes aimed at increasing brutal sectarian conflict in the war-hit country.
Iraqi people, however, blame the US for the eruption of unrest and violence in their country, because the terrorist crimes have flared up in Iraq after the US-led invasion of the Arab nation since 2003.