WORLD / Middle East

Nearly 6,000 civilians killed in Iraq in May, June: UN
Updated: 2006-07-18 22:45

Nearly 6,000 civilians were killed in Iraq during the two months of May and June, according to a report prepared by UN Assistance Mission for Iraq.

"A total of 5,818 civilians were reportedly killed and at least 5,762 wounded during May and June 2006," the human rights report said Tuesday.

It said "killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread in Iraq and the number of civilians killed continues to grow", adding that 244 women and 71 children were killed during these two months.

Most of the victims were killed in Baghdad.

It said professionals from the judiciary, health and education facalties were particularly targeted in the violence.

The UN document said that the Iraqi health ministry had acknowledged that at least 50,000 people have been killed since 2003 and some 150,000 people displaced from their homes because of the violence.

"The displaced people find themselves in a condition of vulnerability, lacking many basic rights and competing for limited services which increase inter-communal animosity in their points of arrival," the report added.

The report said displaced Shiites were seen heading to the south, while the Sunnis were travelling to the north.

A large number of Iraqis have been displaced following the upsurge of sectarian violnece since the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra in February.