Tuesday, October 13, 2009

85,000 Iraqis killed by violence 2004 - 2008

"Iraq's human rights ministry said on Tuesday that at least 85,000 people had been killed by bombs, murders and fighting in 2004-08, in a rare death toll release by an Iraqi government agency.

Mayhem and bitter clashes erupted after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, followed by years of sectarian carnage that has only recently begun to abate. The number of people killed by U.S. and Iraqi forces or insurgents remains highly contentious.

"Outlawed groups through terrorist attacks like explosions, assassinations, kidnappings or forced displacements created these terrible figures, which represent a huge challenge for the rule of law and for the Iraqi people," the ministry said.

"These figures draw a picture about the impact of terrorism and the violation of natural life in Iraq," the ministry said in a draft report on deaths in Iraq.

The report -- which only represents death certificates issued by the health ministry -- also said that 147,195 people had been wounded from 2004 to the end of October 2008.

The data makes no distinction between civilians and others.

A senior rights ministry official said that the report did not include missing persons, estimated at around 10,000 people."

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