April the deadliest month in Iraq in 5 years
May 2, 2013 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
Wounded Iraqi men rest at a hospital in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on April 25, 2013.
- April's total is the deadliest since June 2008
- Most of it occurs in Baghdad
- Violence results from tensions between Sunnis and Shi'ites but targets others as well
Read a version of this story in Arabic.
(CNN) -- More people died violently in Iraq in April than in any other month in nearly five years, the United Nations said Thursday.
A total of 712 people died and 1,633 more sustained injuries "in acts of terrorism and acts of violence," the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said.
Civilians made up most of the victims, 595 in total. 1,438 civilians were injured. Baghdad saw the most deaths with a total of 697 civilian fatalities.
April's total was the deadliest since June 2008, UNAMI said.
Iraq at a crossroads as bombs explode
Why are Iraq's Sunnis so upset?
Syrian civil war stokes violence in Iraq
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government Sunni Arabs have been politically marginalized and Shiites, who represent a majority of Iraqis, have emerged with more power.
There have been protests for months by Sunni Arabs against the Shiite-led government and its prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki. The anger has escalated since a confrontation last week between police and protesters in Hawija.
The International Crisis Group last month said that the "failure to integrate Sunni Arabs into a genuinely representative political system in Baghdad risks turning Iraq's domestic crisis into a broader regional struggle."
"The most urgent task today is to tamp down the flames, and the burden for this lies above all with the government," the Belgium-based think tank said in a report.
"The country is at a crossroads," said Martin Kobler, U.N. special representative in Iraq.
Some Iraqi leaders and international powers fear that tensions between Sunnis and Shiites could escalate and bring a return of a full-blown sectarian war.
Meet the man who sculpted Sadam Hussein
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.