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Press Release 1 12 Feb 2003

"We don't do body counts"
-General Tommy Franks, US Central Command


Automatically updated web-counters freely downloadable onto any web site are at the heart of Iraq Body Count, a project to headline the daily toll of civilian casualties in the Iraq conflict.

The rolling update shows the starkest statistic of war: a minimum and maximum estimate of total civilian deaths from military action by the USA and its allies, as gathered from a variety of online news sources, starting January 1st 2003. With US/UK bombing sorties "preparing the ground" for invasion, the project has already recorded five deaths this year resulting directly from US-UK air strikes.

Clicking on a web counter will take browsers to the website for further information, including key details of each incident recorded in a constantly-updated public database.

This is the first time such a compilation has been done on a virtually real-time basis, which has been made possible through remote collaboration of the principal workers in the project team, and it is hoped that Iraq Body Count will serve as a model for others.

The project builds upon the earlier work of Professor Marc Herold who produced the most comprehensive tabulation ( of civilian deaths in the war on Afghanistan from October 2001 to the present, and the data extraction methodology has been designed in close consultation with him. Casualty figures are derived from a comprehensive survey of accredited online media sources, and where these report differing figures, the range (a minimum and a maximum) are given. In a further development of the methodology, all results are independently reviewed and error-checked by at least three members of the Iraq Body Count project team before publication.

Project leader Hamit Dardagan said

"Civilian casualties are the most unacceptable consequence of all wars. Each civilian death is a tragedy and should never be regarded as the 'cost' of achieving our countries' war aims, because it is not we who are paying the price. One in four killed in the Afghan war were civilians, and in Yugoslavia the proportion was even higher. We believe it is a moral and humanitarian duty that each such death be recorded, publicised, given the weight it deserves and, where possible, investigated to establish whether there are grounds for criminal proceedings."

Webmasters are invited to visit to obtain web counters, and anyone wishing to support the work of the project is asked to contact

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