BAGHDAD, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The monthly death toll from violence of Iraq in August was 841, according to the statement released by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Sunday.
The Iraqi capital of Baghdad is the worst-affected province with a total of 1,272 civilian casualties, followed respectively by Salahuddin, Nineveh, Diyala, Anbar, Kirkuk, Babil, Wasit and Basra, the statement said.
"Despite the decrease in casualty figures in August, compared to July, the impact of violence on civilians remains disturbingly high, with almost 5,000 civilians killed and 12,000 injured since the beginning of 2013," Jacqueline Badcock, the Deputy UN envoy in Baghdad, warned in the statement.
Tensions and violence have been escalating between the Sunni and Shiite communities since late last December, when the Sunni Muslims started protests against the Shiite-led government in six of Iraq's predominantly Sunni provinces and the Sunni districts in Baghdad.
The Sunnis accused the government of marginalizing them, and claimed that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi security forces were indiscriminately arresting and torturing their sons.
The Iraqi security forces on April 23 backed by helicopters stormed an anti-government Sunni protest in the city of Hawijah, some 220 km north of Baghdad, killing and wounding dozens of protesters.
The military operation against the sit-in camp in Hawijah sparked further clashes across the country's predominantly Sunni provinces between the Sunni tribes and the security forces.