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More than 1,700 killed in Iraq in July, says U.N.

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More than 1,700 people were killed in Iraq in July, the United Nations said Friday, making it one of the deadliest months of the year, The Associated Press reported.

The U.N. mission to Iraq said in its monthly statement that at least 1,737 people were killed in July, down from 2,400 deaths in June. But the latest figure is considerably higher than May, when some 800 people were killed.

UN envoy and UNAMI chief Nickolay Mladenov voiced concern about worsening violence in Iraq and urged Iraqi leaders and politicians to address the root causes of violence in the country.

"I am concerned about the rising number of casualties in Iraq, particularly among the civilian population. Children and women are most vulnerable. All sides should ensure that civilians are protected and that international humanitarian law is respected," the statement quoted Mladenov as saying.

Calls for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to resign have intensified with critics accusing him of monopolizing power and alienating minority groups.