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Dec 29th, 2008

Civilian Deaths in Iraq 98,000 since 2003

Dec. 27, 2008

BAGHDAD – Sectarian bloodshed has dropped sharply in Iraq from the high levels of 2006-07, but attacks against U.S. and government forces continue, claiming the lives of Iraqi civilians in step, a new study found on Saturday.

Between at least 8,300 and 9,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2008, bringing the total of civilian deaths since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to at least 98,400, human rights group Iraq Body Count said in a new report.

Twenty-five civilians a day died in 2008, the study found. While far below 2006-2007, when at least 48,000 civilians were killed, it is comparable to violence during 2003-2004.

“The first thing is that there has been a very, very significant decrease in violent deaths in the last year, and this decrease has been most prevalent in Baghdad,” said John Sloboda, the group’s co-founder and spokesman.

Still, “no one was saying in 2004 that levels of violence were acceptable. People were talking about a country in terrible decline. It’s only an improvement … from the appalling peak in violence in 2006 and 2007,” he said.

The group, which collates deaths reported by media and from other sources, acknowledges the true toll of more than five years of violence in Iraq may be far higher.

Sloboda said the drop in violence in 2008 reflected a slowing of “intercommunal,” or sectarian deaths, which soared between minority Sunni Arabs and majority Shi’ites following the bombing of a Shi’ite shrine in Feb. 2006.

In order to staunch violence, the United States sent tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq in 2007, which the Bush administration has largely credited for improving security.

Others argue that the newfound assistance of Sunni tribal leaders helped, or assert that violence subsided after Baghdad’s reorganization to a larger degree along sectarian lines.

Sloboda said that attacks continue against U.S. and other foreign forces, Iraqi police and soldiers, government officials and members of “Awakening Councils,” local patrol units often made up of former insurgents.

“Because this violence is actually against the occupation, it is unlikely to drop while the occupation continues,” he said. …

Since 2003, more than 4,200 U.S. soldiers and more than 175 British soldiers have died in Iraq.

The study found that Iraqi civilian deaths involving foreign forces reached 584 in 2008, compared with 1,359 in 2007.


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Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Dec. 28, 2009, as reported by Reuters.

BAGHDAD – A U.S. soldier died of wounds inflicted by a roadside bomb in northern Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – Police captured two suspected militants overnight after they escaped from their cells in a dramatic jailbreak two days earlier in Ramadi, 60 miles west of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – A suicide bomber riding a bicycle packed with explosives killed a 12 year-old boy and wounded 17 others when he struck a demonstration in Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

FALLUJA – A car bomb exploded near a police patrol, killing two people, one of them a policeman, and wounding 5, near the eastern entrance to the city of Falluja, 30 miles west of Baghdad, police said.

BASRA – Basim al-Moussawi, a provincial council member and a candidate in upcoming provincial elections, escaped an assassination attempt when a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded in Basra, 260 miles southeast of Baghdad, Hakim al-Mayahi, the province’s security head, said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded two people in Abu Dsheer district of southern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – The body of a man was found on Saturday in Baghdad, police said.

KIRKUK – An Iraqi soldier opened fire on and wounded a local provincial council member and killed his bodyguard in Kirkuk, 155 miles north of Baghdad, on Saturday, police said. Police arrested the soldier and said after interrogating him that the attack was for “personal reasons.”

2 Responses to “Iraq Civilian Deaths Near 100,000”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Troop Says:

    […] Iraq Civilian Deaths Near 100,000 […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Slight Dip in Iraq Death Toll Says:

    […] Iraq Civilian Deaths Near 100,000 […]

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