One of the biggest surveys so far of Iraqis who have died violently since the US-led invasion of 2003 has put the figure at about 151,000.

This is about a quarter of the figure given in a disputed Lancet article, but nearly three times higher than that of the Iraq Body Count campaigning group. The result is based on interviews with over 9,000 families across Iraq carried out by the health ministry for the WHO. The survey says more than half of all violent deaths were in Baghdad.

The World Health Organization study looks only at the period from March 2003 until June 2006. Researchers interviewed households right across Iraq, in towns and the countryside, and asked the head of each one for details of all deaths in the group. They say violence became a leading cause of death of Iraqi adults; among men between 15 and 59 it was the main cause of death.

Note of caution
The survey authors say they are confident in the general level of accuracy of the answers they received because they had a high response rate, and because the answers from other questions in their survey were consistent with information they already had. Despite the large number of families interviewed, the authors do not say 151,000 is a precise figure. (Continue Reading…)

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