Margaret Griffis / Anti-War.com & Australian Broadcasting Corp – 2012-01-04 00:19:56
IBO: 162,000 Reported Deaths in Iraq War
Margaret Griffis / Anti-War.com
(January 2, 2012) — Iraq Body Count, a British non-governmental agency that tracks only confirmed deaths, released its estimate of war fatalities. They calculated that about 162,000 people were killed in violence that took place since the beginning of the war in 2003 until its formal end last month. At least 114,000 of those were civilians. The rest of the deaths include police, militia and military personnel.
Although 90 percent of the deaths occurred by 2009, since then, the casualty rate has been lower and relatively steady. However, this apparent stability began about the time that many journalists were leaving the country. Although it may only be a coincidence, the reduction of reporters made compiling figures even more difficult.
Also according to I.B.C., in the last year the number of deaths rose slightly but only by 83, from 3,976 to 4,059 fatalities. The worst attack, a coordinated bombing campaign against Shi’ite targets in Baghdad, occurred on Dec. 22 and left 74 people dead. US forces had withdrawn from the country only days earlier, but when the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility, they said the bloodshed was in support of Sunni prisoners.
I.B.C. has also said that supplementing its own original figure of 114,000 civilians by turning to the Wikileaks cables could add 15,000 more deaths. Another organization, Just Foreign Policy, has estimated that counting unreported deaths could bring the number of war fatalities to almost 1.5 million.
The height of the killings occurred during the sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.
162,000 People Killed in Iraq War: NGO
Australian Broadcasting Corp
MELBOURNE (January 03, 2012) — About 162,000 people, almost 80 percent of them civilians, were killed in Iraq from the start of the 2003 US-led invasion up to last year’s withdrawal of American forces, a British NGO says.
Iraq Body Count (IBC) warned that, contrary to apparent trends in figures released by the Iraqi government, the level of violence has changed little from mid-2009, though attacks are markedly down from when the country was in the throes of sectarian war in 2006 and 2007.
In all, the non-governmental organisation said an estimated 162,000 people were killed in Iraq in the nearly nine years of conflict. It said about 79 percent of the fatalities were civilians, while the remainder included US soldiers, Iraqi security forces and insurgents.
“The violence peaked in late 2006 but was sustained at high levels until the second half of 2008 – nearly 90 percent of the deaths occurred by 2009,” IBC said in a statement. But it warned that “there has now been no noticeable downward trend (in civilian deaths) since mid-2009.”
“Recent trends indicate a persistent low-level conflict in Iraq that will continue to kill civilians at a similar rate for years to come. While these data indicate no improvement, time will tell whether the withdrawal of US forces will have an effect on casualty levels.”
IBC said it had recorded more than 114,000 civilian deaths in Iraq since the invasion, and said the addition of figures from US military logs published by whistleblower website WikiLeaks, as well as officially recorded US and Iraqi security deaths and insurgent tolls, put the overall figure at 162,000.
The worst non-civilian group affected were the Iraqi police, with 9,019 reported deaths, and Baghdad was the most dangerous city in the country, with half of the recorded deaths, equating to 2.5 times the national average. A total of 4,474 US soldiers died in Iraq as well.
US troops, who at their peak numbered nearly 170,000 on as many as 505 bases in Iraq, completed their withdrawal from the country on December 18.
The NGO’s overall toll differed markedly from that published by the Iraqi government, which said on Sunday that 2,645 people were killed in violence in 2011, compared to IBC’s toll of 4,059. Iraqi government figures, unlike IBC data, indicate attacks decreased significantly last year from 2010, when 3,605 people were killed.
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