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Iraq Body Count data: Key points

A new study of casualties in Iraq estimates that 24,865 civilians were killed in the two years from the US-led invasion in March 2003. The report by the Iraq Body Count group and Oxford-based academics is the first detailed account of civilian casualties in the first two years of the conflict, the authors say. Here are tables and charts of some of the key findings.


  • The study concludes that almost 30% of civilian deaths occurred in the invasion phase - before major combat operations were declared over on 1 May 2003.

  • Although men aged 18 or over account for the bulk of civilian deaths over the two years, women and children comprise almost 20%.

  • Because adult males figure so prominently among the dead, Iraq Body Count believes tens of thousands of women and children have lost a husband or father.

  • Over the same period, it is estimated that 42,500 civilians were wounded, almost 90% of them adult males.

Who caused Iraqi civilian deaths?
Category Number killed % of total
US-led forces alone 9,270 37.3
Anti-occupation forces alone 2,353 9.5
US-led and anti-occupation forces involved 623 2.5
'Military actions' as defined by Iraq's Health Ministry 635 2.5
'Terrorist attacks' as defined by Iraq's Health Ministry 318 1.3
Predominantly criminal killings 8,935 35.9
Unknown agents 2,731 11.0

Civilian deaths have been reported throughout Iraq, but the vast majority of them are concentrated in or around highly-populated urban areas. The following map shows the 12 towns and cities with the highest death tolls.

LOCATION OF IRAQI CIVILIAN DEATHS
77% (19,215) of civilian deaths occurred in these towns and cities
Baghdad alone accounted for almost half of all deaths
After the capital, Falluja had the second highest loss of life

In proportion to the number of pre-war inhabitants, the relatively small town of Tikrit - a stronghold of support for former ruler Saddam Hussein - has suffered the biggest civilian losses, according to the IBC figures.

Breakdown of Iraqi civilian deaths by city/town
Number killed % of all deaths Population 2002 est. Dead per 10,000 One death per
Baghdad 11,264 45.3 5,605,000 20.1 498
Falluja 1,874 7.5 256,000 73.2 137
Nasiriya 984 4.0 535,000 18.3 544
Kerbala 929 3.7 549,000 16.9 591
Najaf 784 3.2 563,000 13.9 718
Mosul 735 3.0 1,739,000 4.2 2,366
Basra 704 2.8 1,337,000 5.3 1,899
Kirkuk 613 2.5 728,000 8.4 1,188
Hilla 456 1.8 524,000 8.7 1,149
Tikrit 312 1.3 28,000 111.4 90
Baquba 304 1.2 280,000 10.9 921
Samarra 256 1.0 201,000 12.7 785


Iraq Body Count also provides a breakdown of civilian deaths by month by US-led forces and others.

Deaths caused per month by US-led forces and others*
Period US-led forces Daily average Anti-US forces** Daily average
20 Mar-9 Apr 03 6,616 315.0 80 3.8
10-30 Apr 03 266 12.7 126 6.0
May 03 23 0.7 399 12.9
Jun 03 25 0.8 546 18.2
Jul 03 24 0.8 569 18.4
Aug 03 23 0.7 718 23.2
Sep 03 35 1.2 469 15.6
Oct 03 43 1.4 409 13.2
Nov 03 28 0.9 384 12.8
Dec 03 18 0.6 467 15.1
Jan 04 30 1.0 496 16.0
Feb 04 13 0.4 534 18.4
Mar 04 30 1.0 880 28.4
Apr 04 632 21.1 5.3 16.8
May 04 74 2.4 614 19.8
Jun 04 33 1.1 753 25.1
Jul 04 59 1.9 660 21.3
Aug 04 171 5.5 675 21.8
Sep 04 197 6.6 611 20.4
Oct 04 97 3.1 695 22.4
Nov 04 775 25.8 691 23.0
Dec 04 15 0.5 824 26.6
Jan 05 25 0.8 848 27.4
Feb 05 11 0.4 981 35.0
1-19 Mar05 7 0.4 4.5 21.3


*figures do not include possible 'crossfire' deaths
**figure includes unknown agents and crime




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