'British and Swiss researchers, using data from the human rights group Iraq Body Count (IBC), analyzed civilian deaths in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2008 and found that most killings were committed by unknown perpetrators, often from extrajudicial executions, suicide bombs, vehicle bombs, and mortars.
But according to a "dirty war index" devised by the researchers to measure the proportion of women and children among civilians killed by certain kinds of weapons, coalition forces also did poorly.
The study found that the most indiscriminate effects on women and children in Iraq were from unknown perpetrators firing mortars - with a dirty war index (DWI) rating of 79 - and using non-suicide vehicle bombs, with a DWI of 54, and from coalition air attacks, with a DWI of 69.
For all types of weapons combined, and for small arms fire, coalition forces had a higher dirty war index rating than anti-coalition forces, the researchers said.
Madelyn Hsiao-Rei Hicks of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, who led the study, stressed that this did not mean coalition forces had killed more women and children, but that there was a high proportion of women and children among the civilians they killed.'