The end of the year brings the totals for the number of Iraqi deaths in 2008. As reported earlier, there are divergent sources for these statistics. Iraq Body Count, which has the highest numbers, recorded 9,193 civilians killed for the year. That averages to 766 per month. According to its numbers there were an average of 10 deaths per day from suicide attacks and car bombs, as well as 14 killed per day from gunfire and executions. That compared to 22,671-24,295 deaths in 2007, and 25,774-27,599 in 2006. Icasualties, which has the lowest numbers, counted 4,912 civilian casualties, for an average of 409 dead each month. For 2007 they recorded 17,108 non-combatants killed. If Iraqi security forces are added to that number, 5,908 were killed in 2008, compared to 18,938 for 2007. Their website notes that, “Actual totals for Iraqi deaths are much higher than the numbers recorded on this site.” Agence France Presse, reported their own set of totals for the year based upon Iraq’s Defense, Interior, and Health ministries. The Baghdad agencies counted 6,772 civilians and security forces personnel dead in 2008. That was an average of 564 killed each month. Together they recorded 17,430 dead in 2007.
The major cause for the drop in casualties has been a combination of factors. The sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis ended with the Shiites winning. The Sunnis turned against Al Qaeda in Iraq beginning in Anbar with the Awakening, and then with the help of the U.S., throughout central and northern Iraq with the Sons of Iraq. The Surge tactics also helped secure neighborhoods in Baghdad and the central section of the country. Finally Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fires, although often broken, also contributed. There is still violence in Iraq however. Instead of being Shiite on Sunni however, it is now largely political with the upcoming elections looming, and ethnic between Arabs and Kurds in the north. Mosul, Baquba, and Baghdad remain the most dangerous cities in the country.
Iraq Death Counts
Iraq Body Counts: Civilians Killed
Total 2007: 22,671-24,295
Monthly Average: 1,889-2,024.5
Total 2008: 9,193
Monthly Average: 766
icasualties: Civilians and Security Forces Killed
Total 2007: 17,108 civilians, 1,830 security forces personnel, TOTAL: 18,938
Monthly Average: 1,578
Total 2008: 4,912 civilians, 996 security forces personnel, TOTAL: 5,908
Monthly Average: 409
Agence France Presse: Civilians and Security Forces Killed
Total 2007: 17,430 civilians and security forces personnel
Monthly Average: 1,452.5
Total 2008: 6,772 civilians and security forces personnel
Monthly Average: 564
For more on Iraqi death counts see:
Iraqi Death Counts
Agence France Presse, “Iraq Hails Lowest Monthly Death Toll in Three Years,” 1/2/09
Iraq Body Count
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