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Many experts and expert groups from a range of fields are attempting to combine their knowledge to understand the lethality to Iraqis of the invasion and post-invasion violence in Iraq.

This is a slightly abridged and amended version of an invited "meta-analysis" of IBC's potential contribution to that understanding, presented in a closed meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on mortality estimates for Iraq, convened by WHO in Geneva, May 2007.

Mean number of reports as a function of number of deaths per incident

Reports per size of incident

This graph shows the relationship between the number of deaths in an incident and the number of independent press and media reports it received. When there was a single death, the average number of reports was between two and three. When nine or more people were killed, the average number of reports was ten.

Crucially, it was exceedingly rare to find a case where there were substantial numbers of people killed and there were as few as two reports.