Iraq civilian deaths said to pass 10,000

Copyright 2004 by United Press International (via ClariNet) / Sun, 8 Feb 2004 22:20:24 EST

LONDON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far in the Iraqi conflict, The Independent reported Sunday.

The number calculated by non-government sources, would make the Iraq conflict the most deadly war for non-combatants waged by the West since the Vietnam war more than 30 years ago, the London newspaper said.

The number was recorded by Iraq Body Count, an independent organization monitoring the human casualties. Since the invasion began in March, the group of leading academics and campaigners has registered all civilian deaths in Iraq attributable to the conflict, in the absence of any counts by U.S., British, or Baghdad authorities.

Iraq Body Count's co-founder, John Sloboda, told the Independent: "This official disinterest must end. We are now calling for an independent international tribunal to be set up to establish the numbers of dead, the circumstances in which they were killed and an appropriate and just level of compensation for the victims' families."

Iraq Body Count said Sunday night that deaths are only recorded by the group when reported by at least two media outlets.