© AFPSmoke rises from an Army vehicle following an attack by armed militants in the Anbar city of Fallujah on January 26, 2014
More than 1,000 people were killed Iraq in January, figures showed Friday, as the country grapples with a surge in attacks and battles militants holding territory on Baghdad's doorstep.

The violence, the country's worst since 2008, comes with elections looming in less than three months amid fears Iraq may be slipping back into the all-out conflict that left tens of thousands dead years earlier.

World powers have urged the Shiite-led government to reach out to disaffected minority Sunnis but Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has taken a hard line and trumpeted wide-ranging security operations that he and other officials insist are having an impact.

The new figures, compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defense, showed that 1,013 people were killed in January, including 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen.

That was the highest toll since April 2008, when 1,073 people were killed, at a time when Iraq was slowly emerging from a brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that left tens of thousands dead and scores of others displaced.

Another 2,024 people were wounded in January - 1,633 civilians, 238 soldiers and 153 policemen.
Meanwhile, security forces killed 189 militants and arrested 458.

The numbers were higher than those compiled by AFP, which tracked 992 deaths, according to reports from security and medical officials.

They confirm a wave of intensifying violence ahead of April 30 parliamentary elections, with near-daily bombings and shootings hitting Baghdad and cities to the north, including Mosul, Tuz Khurmatu, Baquba, Kirkuk, Samarra, Tikrit, and surrounding areas.

Shootings have largely targeted security forces and civil servants, while bombings have ripped through both Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods, striking markets, commercial streets, cafes and other areas where civilians congregate.