"The Security Council deplores in the strongest terms the recent events in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah in Anbar province in Iraq," media reported quoting a presidential statement read by Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zedi Al-Hussein, the permanent representative of Jordan to UN who holds the rotating presidency of UN for January.

"The Security Council condemns the attacks that are being perpetrated by Al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), against the people of Iraq in an attempt to destabilise the country and region," said the statement.

Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed last year.

 (Agencies)

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