Tuesday, January 16, 2007

UN Estimates 34,500 Iraqis Killed By War Violence in 2006

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Just under 34,500 Iraqis were killed in war-related violence last year, according to United Nations figures released today -- " a sharp increase from the numbers reported previously by the Iraqi government":

Gianni Magazzeni, the chief of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, said 34,452 civilians were killed and 36,685 were wounded last year.

Iraqi government figures in early January put last year's civilian death toll at 12,357. When asked about the difference, Magazzeni said the U.N. figures were compiled from information obtained through the Iraqi Health Ministry, hospitals across the country and the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad.

"Without significant progress in the rule of law sectarian violence will continue indefinitely and eventually spiral out of control," he warned.

The Iraqi Health Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment, but the government has disputed previous figures released by the U.N. as "inaccurate and exaggerated."

Of course it has.

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