BAGHDAD, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Terrorist acts, violence and armed conflicts killed 386 civilians and wounded 1,066 others in December across Iraq, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said on Monday.
A UNAMI statement said that figures of casualties do not include the security members and exclude the casualties in Iraq's western province of Anbar, as the casualty figures there for the month were unavailable due to the volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services.
According to UNAMI record, a total of 6,878 civilians were killed and 12,388 wounded in 2016, the statement said, adding that the figures do not include the civilian casualty figures for Anbar province for the months of May, July, August and December.
The figures for December do not include the casualties among the security forces, as the Iraqi military authorities in early December criticized the figures announced by UNAMI about the deaths of the security forces for the month of November.
The UNAMI report said that 1,959 security members were killed in November, but the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said UNAMI figures were "inaccurate and much exaggerated."
UNAMI responded and said the "the military figures were largely unverified."
"Though the figures for December are lower than previous months, we are nevertheless noticing an increase in terrorist bombings towards the end of the month and in the last couple of days, targeting civilians," the statement quoted the UN envoy to Iraq and the UNAMI chief Jan Kubis as saying.
"This is, no doubt, an attempt by IS to divert attention from their losses in Mosul and, unfortunately, it is the innocent civilians who are paying the price," Kubis said.
The UNAMI statement came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from its last major stronghold in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
Iraq has witnessed intensifying violence since the IS extremist group took control of parts of its northern and western regions in June 2014.
Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups, such as the IS, on the U.S. that invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003, under the pretext of seeking to destroy weapons of mass destruction in the country.
The war led to the ouster and eventual execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, but no such weapons have been found.