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Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All spoke anonymously as they weren’t authorized to release information.

Insurgents are believed to be trying to capitalize on Sunni discontent against what they consider to be second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government.

Violence surged in April after government troops moved against a camp of Sunni demonstrators in the town of Hawija, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad, triggering clashes that killed 44 civilians and a member of the security forces, according to a U.N. estimate.

More than 4,000 people have been killed, including 804 just in August, according to United Nations figures. The monthly death tolls are the highest since 2008.


Associated Press writers Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad and Nabil al-Jurani in Basra contributed to this report.