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France condemns ongoing violence in Iraq

PARIS, Sept 23 (KUNA) -- The French authorities on Monday again condemned the latest spate of deadly violence in Iraq, where in Baghdad alone around 100 people were killed by suicide attacks over the weekend.
"France condemns the murderous attacks carried out these past days in Iraq, " a Foreign Ministry statement said here, offering condolences to the families and relatives of the victims.
French authorities expressed "deep concern with the spiral of violence which has hit all the population in Iraq." In one cynical attack on Sunday alone, more than 70 people died and well over one hundred were injured when a funeral ceremony was bombed in Baghdad.
Two dozen people were killed the previous day in car bomb attacks and September has been a black month for violence all over the country.
The killings, with mainly political and sectarian motives, have now risen to a level unseen since the major civil strife that regularly killed thousands of people per month in 2006-2007. In those two years, close to 55,000 Iraqis, mostly civilians, died.
Up until May 2013, close to 2,900 people were killed in violence and the figure has been rising each month, according to NGO "Iraq Body Count." In July, provisional data puts the number of deaths at 870, with many hundreds already reported killed in August.
France said on Monday that it would continue to support Iraqi government efforts to fight against terrorism and it called "on all political leaders to show restraint and to (engage in) dialogue to promote unity and national consensus." Separately, France said it noted "with satisfaction" the high level of voter turnout in Iraq's Kurdish regional elections, where voters were called upon to elect a new local parliament.
The "work of the independent Electoral High Commission and the Kurdish security forces made it possible to have a proper ballot," the French Foreign Ministry said. (End) jk.tg KUNA 231549 Sep 13NNNN