Officials figures released from the Iraqi government on Monday revealed that violence in September spiked to the highest level in two years with a monthly death total of 365.
Sectarian violence and terrorist attacks from Al Qaeda affiliated groups, spawned by the US invasion in 2003, have continued despite the withdrawal of most western military forces last year.
The government figures for September show that 182 civilians, 95 soldiers and 88 policemen were killed in coordinated attacks during the month. The total from the month prior was 164 in August. Sixty-four insurgents were killed over the same period.
In addition to the dead in September's violence, at least 683 people were wounded. Of those 453 were civilians, 120 soldiers and 110 police.
Reporting by Reuters adds:
The bloodiest day of the last month was September 9, when more than 100 people were killed in bomb and gun attacks across Iraq. The coordinated assaults against mostly Shi'ite Muslim targets were claimed by the Iraqi affiliate of the Sunni Muslim al Qaeda.
Iraq has been racked by sectarian slaughter since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Although it is now far off its peak of 2006-2007, the violence has been increasing since the last American troops left as political tensions among Iraq's main Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions have increased.
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