Death toll in Iraq conflict ‘more than 174,000’

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The Iraq conflict is likely to have led to the deaths of more than 174,000 people of all nationalities, an independent database has claimed.

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC) has been continuously tracking, analysing and maintaining a public record of civilian deaths since the beginning of 2003 when coalition forces invaded.

The organisation said it had documented 112,017 to 122,438 civilian deaths from violence from March 20 2003 to last Thursday.

It said it had also calculated that the conflict has led to more than 39,900 combatants of all nationalities being killed.

The IBC, which cross-checks data from media reports, hospital and mortuary records, said it reached the 174,000 figure by adding previously unreported civilian deaths released by WikiLeaks.

The most intense period for civilian deaths was at the beginning of the conflict, when more than 6,700 people were killed in just three weeks – a rate of 320 per day for 21 days.

The most violent month after the invasion was July 2006, with 3,266 violent deaths.

The IBC said more than half (55 per cent) of civilian deaths during the first year were directly caused by coalition forces, who were reported as directly causing around seven per cent of all deaths in the subsequent period until their formal withdrawal at the end of 2011.

Overall there have been 25 Iraqi civilian deaths for every coalition forces fatality, the organisation found.

Its research found that although Iraqi civilian victims of the war came from all walks of life, the greatest number of fatalities were among police (10,238) followed by security workers (2,783) and officials and public sector workers (1,605). It found that 288 journalists and media workers were killed while 265 were medics and healthcare workers.

Of the victims the IBC could obtain demographic information about, men numbered 38,441 (77 per cent), women 4,373 (8.7 per cent), and children 4,191 (8.4 per cent) of those killed.

During the past 10 years 41,636 civilians were killed by explosives (including 13,441 in suicide attacks), and a further 5,725 by air attacks (usually also involving explosive munitions) while 64,226 were killed by gunfire, it said.

There were 81 large-scale bomb attacks over the post-invasion period, each claiming on average 85 lives and leaving about 200 wounded. The worst year for these events was 2007, with 20 such incidents, half of them in Baghdad.

The IBC said it had found an additional 135,089 civilians who have been injured but as it only records injuries sustained in fatal incidents, official Iraqi figures are much higher than this.

In May last year the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported that there had been 250,000 injured since 2003, it said.

An IBC spokesman said: “This anti-government conflict forms a significant part of the violence now entrenched in Iraq, which has shown no diminution in recent years. While military forces were able to bring war to Iraq, it has not left with them.”

NINE people have been killed and 21 others injured after two car bombs exploded in the south of Iraq, according to authorities. Two police officials said that the first blast took place near a parking lot near the Tax Department in the centre of Basra. Fifteen minutes later, a second bomb went off near an outdoor market. Attacks are rare in Shiite-dominated Basra, which is considered relatively violence-free compared to other parts of the country.