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The US announced major combat operations were over in Iraq in May 2003, but violence has continued in Iraq, despite the transition to an elected Iraqi government.

Iraq Body Count, which uses two media reports as a source for each death, says the civilian toll is now more than 60,000, including more than 3,258 members of the police. But IBC warns many deaths may not have been reported.

About 150,000 coalition troops, with 323,180 Iraqi security forces, are tackling insurgent groups.

The violence has become increasingly sectarian. Insurgent attacks on Shia targets, and killings which some blame on Shia death squads, have formed a cycle of revenge and reprisal.

Iraq Body Count: War dead figures

Graph of Iraqi civilian deaths 2003 - 2006. Source: Iraq Body Count/Brookings Institute

Map showing main areas of militant activity.



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