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At least 60 killed in weeks of violence in Iraq

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
January 11, 2014 -- Updated 0749 GMT (1549 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: U.N. Security Council condemns attacks
  • An additional 297 are wounded since violence started December 1
  • Most victims were civilians, officials say

(CNN) -- At least 60 people have been killed and 297 wounded since violence started December 1 in Iraq's Anbar province, officials said.

Most victims were civilians, Ramadi and Falluja health officials said Friday.

They did not take into account the casualties among the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Fighting has raged between al Qaeda-linked fighters and government troops in Falluja.

This week, tribal leaders urged residents who'd fled to return, a signal efforts were underway to dial back the violence that has raised questions about the ability of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to hold Iraq together.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks and urged residents, tribes and local leaders to team up to fight violence.

"The Security Council acknowledges the efforts of the Iraqi security forces and Iraqi local police, whose members are

also being targeted and killed in ongoing attacks by terrorists," it said in a statement.

"The Security Council stresses the critical importance of continued national dialogue and unity, an

inclusive political process, the holding of free and fair elections in April 2014, and the right to peaceful

protest."

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