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Dec 29th, 2010

Iraq War Deaths Drop in 2010

Civilian toll down from 4,680 in 2009 to 3,976 in 2010 ahead of U.S. withdrawal


Can Iraq stand on its own? (MSNBC “Hardball,” Dec. 28, 2010) — Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, and James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, talk with Chris Matthews about whether the Iraqi government is prepared to function on its own when the U.S. military leaves in 2011. (08:54)

By Rebecca Santana

Dec. 29, 2010

BAGHDAD — A British group monitoring Iraqi civilian deaths said in its annual report that the number has dropped slightly since 2009 but warned of a lingering, low-level conflict in the years ahead.

The organization called Iraq Body Count said in its year-end report released Thursday that 3,976 civilians have been killed this year as of Dec. 25, compared with 4,680 in 2009.

While there was a drop from 2009 to 2010, the organization said the rate of decline was smaller than in previous years, indicating that future security improvements would be much harder to come by.

“The 2010 data suggest a persistent low-level conflict in Iraq that will continue to kill civilians at a similar rate for years to come,” the report said. …

American military officials said in the early years of the war that they did not count Iraqi civilian deaths. But last summer, the U.S. military quietly posted a tally on one of its websites putting the death toll between January 2004 and August 2008 of Iraqi civilians and security forces at almost 77,000.

The tally fell short of the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry’s estimated 85,694 civilian and security deaths between January 2004 and Oct. 31, 2008.

Iraq Body Count puts the number of dead between 99,285 and 108,398. …

In a hopeful sign, the group said the second half of the year — specifically after American combat forces left the country in August — showed many fewer deaths than the first half. December is on track to be the least deadly month of the year, the group said.

The capital of Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, remained the most dangerous cities in the country, according to the organization’s information. …

The group also said that the security crisis in Iraq was “notable for its sheer relentlessness.” According to the group, an average of two explosions resulting in civilian deaths occurred each day. …


Related reports

Suicide bombers hit Iraqi police HQ, kill chief (AP, Dec. 29, 2010) — Three suicide bombers attacked Iraq’s federal police headquarters in Mosul , leveling the building and killing the top police commander in the northern city. … Full story

Iraq leader: U.S. out by end of 2011 (AP, Dec. 28, 2010) – The last U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says. In a two-hour interview published by The Wall Street Journal, al-Maliki said his country’s security forces can handle any remaining security threats beyond the mutually agreed year-end pullout date established with the Bush administration in 2008. … He also said Iraq will not form an alliance with Iran after the U.S. pullout is complete. … Full story


Related reports in this site

In this July 22, 2010 file photo, Umm Haider weeps over her son's coffin, Ameer Hussein, 9, during his funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq. The family says he was killed in a roadside bomb attack the day before. July was Iraq's deadliest month in more than two years, according to new official figures, suggesting that a resilient insurgency is successfully taking advantage of the months of deadlock in forming a new government. The figures released late Saturday, July 31, 2010 show that 535 people were killed last month, the highest since May 2008 when 563 died, heightening concerns over Iraq's precarious security situation even as the U.S. troops are reducing their numbers. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani, File)
In this July 22, 2010 file photo, Umm Haider weeps over her 9-year-old son’s coffin during his funeral in Najaf, south of Baghdad, Iraq. July 2010 was Iraq’s deadliest month in more than two years with 535 people killed – the highest since May 2008 when 563 died. (Photo credit: Alaa al-Marjani / AP file

Insurgents Coming Back in Iraq (Dec. 5, 2010)

Iraq Civilian Deaths at 2-Year High (Aug. 1, 2010)

Quarter Million Dead, Wounded in Iraq (Oct. 14, 2009)

Sustained Iraqi Insurgency (Aug. 12, 2009)

Deadly June for Iraqis (July 5, 2009)

Iraq: May Deadliest in 8 Months (May 29, 2009)

Iraqi Security Forces Stumbling (May 8, 2009)

Iraq Exit Will Be Long and Hard (March 7, 2009)

Sharp Increase in Iraq Violence (May 7, 2009)

U.S. Death Toll Doubles in Iraq (May 1, 2009)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — December 29, 2009

Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Serviceman

SSG Ronald J. Spino

One year ago today, I reported that an Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers in western Afghanistan, while Pakistani authorities appealed for calm after a bombing against a Shiite Muslim procession marking the holy day of Ashoura killed 43 in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — December 29, 2008

Iraq Civilian Deaths Near 100,000

Image: Iraqis carry coffin
Iraqis carry the coffin of a relative, who was killed in a suicide attack, as they leave the mortuary of al-Kindi hospital in Baghdad, March 8, 2009. (Photo credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP — Getty Images)

Two years ago today, on Dec. 29, 2008 I reported that 8,300 to 9,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2008, bringing the total number of civilian deaths since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to at least 98,400, according to figures released by Iraq Body Count.

Image: Grieving in Mosul
Women grieve following a bomb attack in Mosul, northern Iraq, on Monday, Aug. 10, 2009. (Photo credit: Nawras al-Ta’ei / EPA)

One Response to “Slight Dip in Iraq Death Toll”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq Violence Persists Says:

    […] Slight Dip in Iraq Death Toll (Dec. 29, 2010) […]

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