112,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 10 years: group

AFP, BAGHDAD

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 - Page 7

At least 112,000 civilians were killed in the 10 years since the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, a new report published yesterday said.

Including combatants on all sides of the decade-long conflict, as well as yet undocumented civilian fatalities, the figure could rise as high as 174,000, the Britain-based Iraq Body Count group said.

“This conflict is not yet history,” it said in its report, which put the number of civilian deaths since March 20, 2003, at between 112,017 and 122,438.

“It remains entrenched and pervasive, with a clear beginning, but no foreseeable end and very much a part of the present in Iraq,” the report said.

The group added that over the years, Baghdad had been, and still is, the deadliest region in the country, accounting for 48 percent of all deaths, while the conflict was bloodiest between 2006 and 2008.

It said that violence remains high, with annual civilian deaths of between 4,000 and 5,000 roughly equivalent to the total number of coalition forces who died from 2003 up to the US military withdrawal in December 2011, at 4,804.

The most violent regions after Baghdad were the northern and western provinces, dominated by Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority which controlled Iraq during Saddam’s rule, but which has since been replaced by the Shiite majority.