More than 1,000 people were killed in violence across Iraq in May, according to the United Nations mission to the country.

The UN figures, released on Saturday, showed that 1,045 civilians and security personnel were killed last month, which surpasses the 712 killed in April, and making it the deadliest month recorded since June 2008.

“Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed,” said Martin Kobler, the special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, calling the death toll “a sad record”.

More than half of those killed were in the greater Baghdad area. Car bombs and other explosives were responsible for the bulk of the casualties across the country.

On Friday, authorities imposed a sweeping ban on cars bearing common temporary license plates across the Iraqi capital in an apparent effort to thwart car bombings.

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