UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in July, making it the deadliest month for the conflicts-torn country in more than five years, the UN peacekeeping mission in Iraq reported on Thursday.
"The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said on Thursday that more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed and more than 2,300 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in July," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky at a daily briefing.
"The Mission, in releasing its monthly casualty figures, said that most of those killed or wounded were civilians," Nesirky said.
More than 4,000 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the year, Nesirky quoted Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, as saying.
"The mission hasn't seen such numbers in more than five years," said the spokesperson.
The Iraqi capital of Baghdad was the worst-affected governorate in July, with 957 civilian casualties, he said.
According to Nesirky, the UN envoy for Iraq reiterated his urgent call on all Iraqi political leaders to "take immediate and decisive action to stop the senseless bloodshed."
On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced alarm at the deterioration of the security situation in Iraq, where deadly attacks are becoming "all too commonplace," and appealed to political leaders to take urgent action to stem the violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.
A wave of 17 apparently-coordinated car bombings hit Baghdad and several southern cities on Monday, killing at least 51 people and injuring more than 200 others in mostly Shiite areas, according to media reports.
The violence continued on the first day of August. Fourteen people were killed and 26 wounded in separate bombings and shootings across Iraq on Thursday, including seven policemen, seven soldiers and 16 civilians, according to the police.
"The security forces have no experience or capability to stop al-Qaida, while on the other hand the armed groups are getting stronger, both in quality and quantity," said Riyadh Hussein, a government employee from eastern Baghdad, "We are witnessing the return of the dark days of the civil war that took place in 2006-2007 and the country is returning to square one where the armed groups have the upper hand in the country."
The spike in bloodshed raised fears that Iraq is sliding back toward a full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when the monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.