Aug 1, 4:48 AM EDT

UN: Iraq deaths drop to 1,700 in July

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- The United Nations says 1,737 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Iraq in July, marking a dramatic decline from the previous month, when some 2,400 people were killed as Sunni militants swept across large parts of the country, capturing the second largest city Mosul.

The militant advance largely ground to a halt last month as the insurgents approached Shiite-majority areas. Both months' numbers exclude the western Anbar province, parts of which have been held by militants for months.

The wave of violence continued Friday, when a car bomb tore through a busy commercial street in Baghdad's eastern Habibiya neighborhood, killing six people and wounding 16, police officials said. Health officials confirmed the figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the media.

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