Iraq says more than 1,600 killed in July

BAGHDAD - More than 1,600 people were killed in acts of violence in Iraq last month, most of them civilians, according to government figures released on Friday that excluded jihadist militants.

Figures compiled by the health, interior and defence ministries showed that 1,401 civilians, 185 soldiers and 83 policemen were killed in July.

The toll marked a slight drop from a seven-year high recorded in June, when the Islamic State jihadist group launched a sweeping offensive that triggered Iraq's worst crisis in years.

The latest tally also shows that a total of 2,104 people were wounded, including 246 soldiers and 153 policemen.

The United Nations representation in Iraq provided a higher figure, saying at least 1,737 people were killed in July.

"I am concerned about the rising number of casualties in Iraq, particularly among the civilian population. Children and women are most vulnerable," top UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov said.

Iraq's scattered, moving frontlines and myriad fighting groups make independent verifications of casualty figures very difficult.

The government's civilian tally includes an unknown number of volunteers who enlisted with government-backed Shiite militia.

The Islamic State does not divulge casualty figures.