June death toll passes 2,400 as Iraqi leaders fail to establish new parliament

Published July 1st, 2014 - 12:45 GMT

More than 2,400 were killed in Iraq in June in what has developed into the deadliest month in the country this year, according to Agence France Presse. 

The United Nations reported the overwhelming death toll of 2,417 lives claimed from violence in Iraq on Tuesday, the last day of what is now considered the bloodiest month of 2014 thus far. 

Militants, particularly from the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have led a massive offensive throughout the country, overtaking areas in at least five of Iraq's provinces, as well as a Syria-Iraq border crossing in their attempt to re-establish what the group has described as a renewed Islamic Caliphate. 

Out of the 2,417 killed, 1,531 are civilians. UNAMI also noted that in addition to the death toll, 2,287 Iraqis were wounded in June alone, including 1,763 civilians. 

However, it is important to note that the death toll does not include those killed in the Anbar province that is currently under Sunni militant control. 

"The staggering number of civilian casualties in one month points to the urgent need for all to ensure that civilians are protected," UN Special Representative in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said in the statement.

He further urged "[Iraq's political rivals to] work together to foil attempts to destroy the social fabric of Iraqi society."

However, Iraq's attempts to work together have been less than successful over the past month.

Reuters reported Tuesday that the speaker of Baghdad's recently elected parliament failed to establish a new government in light of the growing crisis due to the fact that they could not reach a quorum in Parliament.

"No agreement has been made on the [new] speaker," acting speaker Mehdi Al Hafidh told lawmakers. "We have a lack of quorum and lack of agreement on the names."

In Iraq, the Parliament speaker usually identifies as a Sunni Muslim, and has one Shiite deputy as well as a Kurdish one. However, recent events have sparked increased sectarian tensions within Iraq's fabric, with only 75 out of 328 MPs returning to the Parliament Tuesday to discuss the new government plans. 

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