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Press Release 19 1 Jan 2014

9,472 Civilians killed in 2013: Worst year since 2008, and more ominous

At 31st December 2013 the reported civilian death toll for the year, as published on stood at 9,472

This figure is more than double that of any of the preceding three years. One has to go back to 2008 to find comparable levels of violence, when just over 10,000 civilians were reported killed. In 2008 however, that was a declining total from the much higher levels of 2006-2007, with the second half of 2008 less violent than the first.

In 2013 the trend is in the opposite direction, with around 2/3rds of the deaths occurring in the 2nd half of the year. If current violence levels continue unabated throughout the coming year, then 2014 threatens to be as deadly as 2004, which saw the two sieges of Fallujah and Iraq’s insurgency take hold.

In an analysis of the conditions in which the year’s rise in violence has taken place, IBC’s Lily Hamourtziadou notes that the rifts in Iraqi society have become ever more entrenched, with the Sunni-Shia political stalemate offering "fertile ground" to Al Qaeda in Iraq who have "attacked the government through killing members of its army, its police force, its politicians and journalists, as well as its Shia population."

Iraq Body Count (IBC) maintains the world’s largest public database of violent civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion, as well as a separate running total which includes combatants. Information collected and analysed in 2013 has allowed IBC to update its assessment of the total numbers killed in Iraq since March 2003 (both civilian and combatant) to 184,000

Since 2003, IBC has been continuously and openly recording civilian deaths that have resulted from the 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 records. All the incidents on which IBC’s analyses are based are listed publicly on its website.


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