Iraqi September Death Toll Reaches 1,000
The United Nations says around 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in the month of September alone. So far this year, 5,740 people have been killed in the violence.
Aside from the deaths last month, 2,000 people were also wounded in a wave of almost daily bombings across the country, the UN has said.
The figures make for grim reading, with 887 civilians and 92 Iraqi security personnel killed - with the capital Baghdad taking almost half of the fatalities.
As September drew to a close, 23 people were killed in blasts targeting outdoor markets in Iraq's capital Baghdad, with Al Qaeda thought to be behind the attacks.
In response to the violence, the UN's envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov has urged Iraqis to "strengthen their efforts to promote national dialogue and reconciliation."
"Political, religious and civil leaders as well as the security services, must work together to end the bloodshed and ensure that all Iraqi citizens feel equally protected," Mladenov said in a statement on Tuesday.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry has said blamed the violence on terrorists who have launched an open war in the country.
A statement from the Interior Ministry said: "[Iraq] is currently facing an open war from bloodthirsty sectarian forces that aim to plunge the country into chaos."
Since Western forces left Iraq, it has been wallowing in a political stalemate with a widening sectarian chasm between the country's Shia majority and Sunni minority. Under Saddam Hussein's rule, the Sunni minority - which comprises around 40% of the Iraqi population - was empowered at the expense of the Shia majority.
Since Saddam's ouster the country's Shia majority has risen to the top of Iraq's political pile, and many Sunnis now complain of discrimination at the hands of authorities. This - along with the raging sectarian conflict in neighboring Syria - has fueled an Al Qaeda resurgence in Iraq. That has meant a serious escalation in sectarian attacks targeting the Shia population, which in turn has provoked a crackdown by security forces on the Sunni areas suspected of harboring the terrorists.