Iraq death toll exceeds 700 in February: U.N.

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By Ned Parker BAGHDAD (Reuters) - More than 700 people died in violence in Iraq in February, not including nearly 300 reported deaths in western Anbar province, where security forces have been battling Sunni Muslim rebels since January, the United Nations said on Saturday. The world body said local authorities had recorded 298 civilian deaths in Anbar, but that it could not confirm the figures independently due to the chaos in the desert region. Outside Anbar, the bloodshed was worst in Baghdad, where 239 civilians were killed, followed by Salahuddin province to the north with 121 dead. The United Nations said it had confirmed 703 deaths in Iraq in February, compared to 733 in January, excluding Anbar.