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Iraqi Government Criticizes New UN Human Rights Report on Iraq


The Iraqi government has criticized a new United Nations human rights report on Iraq as unbalanced and lacking credibility.

It says the report puts the credibility of the U.N. at stake and further aggravates the humanitarian situation in Iraq.

In the report, the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq says civilian casualties rose in March after an initial drop in the second half of February, following the launch of a U.S.- Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad.

The report says high levels of violence by armed groups, insurgents and others continued. It says law enforcement personnel and Iraqi professionals are among those consistently targeted.

The U.N. agency also expressed concern about some aspects of the government's behavior, including the treatment of detainees.

U.N. human rights officer Ivana Vuco also called Baghdad's refusal to release statistics for violent deaths unfortunate. She said such figures help the U.N. to understand the scope of problems in Iraq.

In a January report, the U.N. agency said more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians were killed and more than 36,000 wounded in 2006. The Iraqi government alleges those figures were exaggerated.

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