Reuters | August 1, 2011
BAGHDAD, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The number of civilians killed by violence in Iraq rose to 159 in July from 155 in June, matching January with the highest toll so far for 2011, according to health ministry figures released on Monday.
Violence has dropped sharply since the height of Iraq’s sectarian conflict in 2006-2007, but killings and attacks still happen almost daily as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw more than eight years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
The number of Iraqi police killed declined to 56 in July from 77 in June, while 44 soldiers were killed in July in comparison to 39 killed in June, according to figures from the interior and defence ministries.
The ministries said 199 civilians, 135 police officers and 119 soldiers were wounded in July attacks.
At least 28 people were killed and 58 wounded on July 5 when a car bomb and a roadside bomb blew up in a crowded parking lot outside a government building in the town of Taji, just north of Baghdad. The explosions hit police, government workers and Iraqis lining up for national identity cards.
On July 28 two suicide bombers killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 30 in the northern city of Tikrit as police and soldiers were collecting their salaries at a local bank.
Militants have targeted Iraqi police and soldiers for months as a way of undermining confidence in their ability to provide security when U.S. forces are scheduled to withdraw by the end of December under a bilateral security agreement.
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