Attrition: Details Of The Iraqi War Dead

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October 22, 2010: In the last year, the Iraqi government and the U.S. Department of Defense have released new casualty figures. The U.S. figure for Iraqi civilians and security forces killed was 77,000 for the period from early 2004 to mid-2008. The Iraqi government figures were 85,694 (to October 31, 2008). The Department of Defense did not indicate if their death figure included hostile forces (Sunni Arab and Shia terrorists).

Last year, Western researchers published an analysis of Iraqi government data between March 20, 2003 and March 19, 2008. Only two percent of the deaths were from air power (bombs or gunfire). Moreover, 92 percent of those killed were adult males. Some 43 percent of the deaths were executions, mainly Shia death squads murdering Sunni men in revenge for the post-2003 terror bombings, and pre-2003 terror against Shia by Saddam's secret police and death squads. Suicide bombs caused 14 percent of deaths, with vehicle and roadside bombs accounting for another 14 percent. Mortar fire, usually Sunnis firing at Shia neighborhoods, accounted for another three percent of deaths. Small arms fire accounted for 20 percent of the dead. These deaths occurred during 14,196 separate violent events analyzed. Some 80,000 deaths were analyzed, although for 25 percent of them, no cause of death could be determined.

Last year, the Iraqi government has released data showing that 110,000 Iraqis have died, mostly from sectarian and terrorist violence, since 2003. The killing has declined considerably during 2008 and 2009. In March, 2008, 1,276 died, versus 335 for March, 2009.

It appears that there were some 100,000-120,000 Iraqi deaths during the war, with a quarter or more of them hostiles (terrorists and others opposing the new Iraqi government or foreign troops.) The fact that over 90 percent of the dead were adult males is also an indication of warfare, not just random killing. Most of the women and children killed were the result of car or truck bombs in crowded places, or kids playing near where a roadside bomb was planted.

 

 


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