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Iraq Sees Highest Death Toll in Years

Ali Hamza, 8, at the graves of his brother, Mohammed, and sister, Asinat, who were killed at school by a nearby suicide car bombing, Qabak, Iraq, Oct. 7, 2013.
Violence in Iraq reached its worst level in years in 2013, with one organization saying almost 9,500 people died in bombings and militant assaults across the country.

The United Nations and the Britain-based NGO, Iraq Body Count (IBC), say the number of deaths last year surpassed levels of violence last seen since 2008.

Violence in Iraq spiked in April after security forces staged a crackdown on a Sunni protest site in Hawijah triggering a series of clashes and revenge attacks.

The IBC says it recorded 9,472 deaths in 2013, while U.N. figures put the toll at 7,818.

In a statement, United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov called on Iraqi authorities to address the roots of the violence in an effort to stem it.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.