Iraq Violence in Numbers

BBC: Tens of thousands of people have died in Iraq since the US-led invasion of March 2003. But it is unclear how many Iraqi lives have been lost. More than 4,300 coalition soldiers have died – 4,000 of them Americans [this figure does not include the deaths of “security contractors” which some estimates put at more than 800]. US forces do not keep complete records of civilians killed. The Iraqi government does not keep precise records. Health ministry estimates in November 2006 ranged from 100,000 to 150,000 dead. This contrasts with a survey of Iraqi households in the Lancet, which suggested about 655,000 Iraqis had died in the war by July 2006. A survey published by a UK-based polling agency Opinion Research Business in September 2007 suggested up to 1.2m people might have died because of the conflict. The campaign group, Iraq Body Count, says the civilian death toll by October 2007 was between 74,000 and 81,000, although it warns many deaths may have gone unreported. Another survey, published by the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2008, says that about 151,000 civilians died between March 2003 and June 2006. The study for the World Health Organization was based on 9,000 interviews across Iraq.

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