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Iraq denies "exaggerated death toll reports"

BAGHDAD, Sept 2 (KUNA) -- The Iraqi Interior Ministry Sunday denied reports yesterday regarding the death toll of terrorist bombings in August and termed these "highly exaggerated", putting the figure at 1,011 people.
Director of the National Command Center at the ministry Major General Abdelkareem Khalaf said the figure of 1,773 reported by CNN and other news sources was inaccurate and the accurate figure of 1,011 actually includes the victims of the Sinjar and Kirkuk bombings.
Over 700 people perished in Beaj, Sinjar, and Kirkuk while over 250 were killed in Baghdad, he pointed out.
"If we exclude the toll of the bombings in northern Iraq, the figures would indicate drop in killing of civilians compared to July," he said. The official also noted that the figures should be taken from the Iraqi authorities, and none else.
The Major General criticized the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) over supply of inaccurate figures of victims of violence across Iraq.
Reports have circulated putting the deaths among civilians in Iraq in August at a slight increase over July, at 1,773 people. Correcting this figure to 1,011, Khalaf would not indicate the number of police and security staff deaths.
The casualties of the bombings in Sinjar district alone reached 344 deaths and 396 injuries, according to statements by the mayor of Al-Beaj district Abdul-Rahim Al-Shimri to the independent Voice of Iraq news agency.
Recent reports indicate that the victims who were killed in Iraqi-US operations in August were 472 people and that 2,019 people were arrested.(end) mhg.wsa KUNA 021330 Sep 07NNNN