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Press Release 21 01 Jan 2016


Today Iraq Body Count (IBC) publishes its 2015 annual report on violent deaths in Iraq

Its key findings are:


- 16,115 civilians were recorded killed in Iraq during 2015 (by Dec 30). This compares to 4,622 in 2012; 9,851 in 2013; and 20,030 in 2014.

- The three years 2013-2015 claimed 45,996 civilian lives, whereas the preceding three years from 2010-2012 left 12,942 dead.

- 2015 is the second worst year (after 2014) since the recent upsurge in violence. More were killed in 2015 than in the three years 2010, 2011, and 2012 combined.


- 90% of recorded deaths occurred in just 5 provinces (governorates), Ninewa, Anbar, Baghdad, Salah al-Din and Diyala.

- In the first half of the year Anbar had the highest number of deaths, and in the second half Ninewa, reflecting the changing activities of Islamic State and the Coalition and Iraqi forces engaged in combat with them.

- The year’s worst car bombing occurred in Khan Bani Saad (in Diyala) killing 120 people.


- 8,818 civilians were reported killed by Islamic State, 7,101 of them by execution. The cumulative Islamic State-caused civilian death toll since they began occupying areas of Iraq (in June 2014) has risen to 13,493.

- 1,246 civilians were reported executed by unidentified actors, where it has not been possible to establish which of the major actors, or possibly other, less well-identified groups, were involved.

- Coalition and Iraqi airstrikes killed 1,295 civilians between them, of whose deaths 845 could be clearly attributed to Coalition forces and 254 to the Iraqi air force, and another 196 of which could have been caused by either side. These airstrikes brought the death toll from airstrikes since the Coalition resumed its military action in the summer of 2014 to 2,312.


- Over 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and allied militia have been killed since June 2014 when the new phase of the conflict involving Islamic State began;

- Over 1,500 Peshmerga and Kurdish security force members have also been killed since June 2014;

- Some 13,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed since June 2014 (according to the Defence Ministry);

- Total cumulative reported deaths for both combatants and civilians for the entire period 2003-2015 presently stand at 242,000. Over 170,000 (around 71%) of these were civilian.

In commenting on these findings Iraq Body Count stated:

“Despite 2015’s reduction by comparison to 2014, current violence levels are still at an elevated level, very far removed from the lower levels seen a few years ago. Whatever hope one might derive from this reduction, the fact remains that 16,115 civilians who were living last year are now dead. If this is the new normal for Iraq, it can only be described as a catastrophic one.”

Note for editors:

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.

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 cross-checked 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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