Iraq Body Count needs your support
If you think our work is important, please help us by making a donation towards our running costs.

 

The Iraq Body Count (IBC) entry for x350, like that for x334 series, was made possible by examination of the detailed data supplied to the Associated Press (AP) by the morgues surveyed in AP's 23rd May 2004 survey of Iraqi morgues. x334 dealt solely with the Baghdad city morgue; in x350 a further three morgues for the provinces of Tikrit (Salah ad Din), Kirkuk (Tamim) and Karbala, covering the 12 months from 1st May 2003 to 30th April 2004, are integrated into IBC's database. IBC had already recorded numerous incidents in its database for these provinces over this period: integrating the new data required that overlaps between the existing and new data be identified and eliminated from any final totals. Further allowances were made for caveats in the text of the AP report, as had been done in x334. The footnotes below provide technical details of the detailed methodology used.

As noted by AP, absent from this data are records from morgues which did not participate in or respond to AP's survey — it should not therefore be considered comprehensive.

Notes:

  1. To allow for the sentence in the reports which reads "Also, the bodies of killed fighters from groups like the al-Mahdi Army are rarely taken to morgues," an estimate of "between 1 in 50 to 1 in 25" was used to represent the fighters' "rarely" featuring in morgue statistics. AP's total figures were accordingly reduced by 4 per cent and 2 percent to produce "fighter-free" minimum and maximum estimates.
  2. These numbers were further reduced by morgue data for the equivalent 2002-2003 period and locations to provide an adjustment for normal "background" death rates unattributable to the war and its aftermath. It is only the difference between the pre- and post-invasion rates which are recorded here.
  3. Deaths which may already have been recorded by IBC from other reporting for the locations and periods concerned were subtracted from the totals obtained after step 2 to avoid overlaps and double-counting (See the "Details..." note to x073 for an example of the Methodology used in such instances).
  4. We also allowed for the statement in the report that read:

    "The figure [reported by the morgue] does not include most people killed in big terrorist bombings, [Kais Hassan, director of statistics at Baghdad's Medicolegal Institute] said. The cause of death in such cases is obvious so bodies are usually not taken to the morgue, but given directly to victims' families."

    This was assumed to hold true for other morgues, in that it wasn't a policy of the Baghdad or any other morgue but described the behaviour of Iraqis outside those institutions. Therefore the existing IBC records identified in step 3, above, which fit the description of "big terrorist bombing" had their potential overlaps reduced by "half+1" for overlaps smaller than 10 and by 60 per cent for larger ones — "60 per cent" being our interpretation of the term "most" as used here.
  5. A special set of considerations was raised by IBC entry x298, a cumulative total of 135 (min) to 141 (max) Iraqi policemen killed between 9th April and 19th December 2003. This was based on official Iraqi figures and covered the entire country with the exception of Baghdad. A 5th February 2004 report in The Independent (UK), giving figures for policemen killed in Mosul over most of the same period, allowed some of their number to be discounted from any overlaps (Mosul is in Ninawah province). However the remainder could not be so precisely located. One way to deal with the uncertainty would have been to employ the Min-Max system, thereby allowing for two possibilities: that ALL these deaths had occurred in the three provinces (most unlikely) and that NONE had occurred there (also unlikely). Instead we elected to obtain a more representative overlap using census data, which enabled us to calculate the proportion of policemen likely to have been killed in the three provinces under review.