Baghdad morgue took 16,000 bodies in 2006

The Baghdad morgue took in about 16,000 unidentified bodies last year, the bulk of them victims of death squads and other sectarian violence, a source at the morgue told Reuters on Sunday.

Baghdad morgue took 16,000 bodies in 2006

About 1,350 bodies were received in December, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Iraqi government has banned officials from releasing data on casualty rates. As throughout the year, between 80 and 85 percent of these were victims of violence.

The morgue data -- for Baghdad only -- suggest that a figure of 12,320 civilian deaths in "terrorist violence" in 2006, given two weeks ago by Interior Ministry sources, does not include all the victims of the bloodletting in Iraq. The Interior Ministry statistics exclude violent deaths classed as "criminal".

Since the morgue statistics also do not take account of the many deaths outside Baghdad, nor indeed of all violent deaths in the capital, the total death toll is certainly higher.

A Health Ministry official told the Washington Post last week that nearly 23,000 civilians and police were killed in the year, according to Health Ministry data. A deputy minister said he could not confirm the figures.

The Interior Ministry said 1,231 policemen were killed.

The United Nations has added Health Ministry data for the country as a whole to Baghdad morgue figures to come up with figures showing 3,700 civilians were killed in October alone -- or about 120 people a day.

The Iraqi government has called that an exaggeration but given no comparable official figures of its own. No U.N. data are yet available for the period since October.

While the total death toll remains disputed, no officials challenge the indications given by various sets of data that killings have increased markedly in the past year, notably since the destruction of a major Shi'ite shrine in February.

The Interior Ministry figures showed three and a half times more civilian deaths in December than in January.

No data were available for November, but in October the morgue took in about 1,600 bodies, down from a peak of 1,815 in July.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16