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Press Release 16 27 Dec 2008

Post-surge violence: its extent and nature

What Iraq Body Count's detailed data indicates about 2008's civilian death toll

At 01:00 AM GMT on 28th December 2008, Iraq Body Count is publishing a new analysis entitled Post Surge Violence: its nature and extent:

Key findings are:

  • In 2008 another 8,315 - 9,028 civilians lost their lives to violence in Iraq.
  • As expected, the overall daily death rate for civilians killed in violence during 2008 has dramatically declined on peak levels seen in 2006-7.
  • But levels remain high, having reverted to the equivalent of the 20 months following invasion (25 per day, from May 2003 � Dec 2004).
  • The reduction in violent civilian deaths is much greater in Baghdad than elsewhere in Iraq.
  • For the first time more civilians are being killed outside Baghdad than in Baghdad.
  • Civilian deaths attributable to the conflict between Coalition and anti-occupation combatants have continued more or less unabated through and after the "surge."
  • Deaths among Iraqi police are being progressively replaced by victims among Awakening council members who have increasingly taken front-line local security roles.

These findings suggest that key components of the remaining violence are inseparable from the occupation itself, and are unlikely to be eliminated while the US military remains in Iraq.

An Excel table containing containing some key time series is available on request.

Iraq Body Count (IBC) records the violent civilian deaths that have resulted from the 2003 military intervention in Iraq. Its public database includes deaths caused by US-led coalition forces and paramilitary or criminal attacks by others. IBC's documentary evidence is drawn from crosschecked media reports of violent events leading to the death of civilians, or of bodies being found, and is supplemented by the careful review and integration of hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures.


Press and media enquiries:

John Sloboda (author), or