Fierce fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City fuelled the bloodshed last month, with at least 1,073 people killed across Iraq and the US military's toll hitting a seven-month high. According to data collected by the Iraqi interior, health and defence ministries and cited by AFP, 966 civilians were killed in April, as were 69 police officers and 38 troops.
Most of the fatalities were in clashes between US and Iraqi forces and Shiite militiamen loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr in Sadr City, the Baghdad district of some two million people. April's death toll was marginally lower than in March which saw 1,082 Iraqis killed.
"The death toll in April is mainly driven by fighting between (Shiite) militants and security forces," a security official said, according to AFP.
Combined figures obtained from the three ministries showed that 1,745 civilians, 159 policemen and 104 soldiers were wounded during the month.
Meanwhile, a blast near an American patrol in Baghdad killed nine Iraqis and injured 23 on Thursday, Iraqi police said. The Iraqi police said there were also some casualties among U.S. troops.