Last Updated: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:07 pm (KSA) 09:07 am (GMT)

As bombs hit Baghdad, Iraq says about 69, 263 people killed between 2004 and 2011

As car bombs hit Baghdad and northern Iraq, killing at six people, the Iraqi government said on Wednesday that 69,263 people had been killed in violence between 2004 and 2011 ̶ significantly less than figures from other sources, including one of its own ministries.

“Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh announced that the number of victims... from April 5, 2004 to December 31, 2011 reached 69,263 martyrs and 239,133 wounded,” the statement said.

“These figures represent the total number of victims who fell as a result of terrorist attacks and violence and military operations,” the statement said.

The figures come from the health ministry and national Security Council, it added.

The deadliest year was 2006, when 21,539 people were killed and 39,329 wounded, as Iraq was engulfed in bloody sectarian conflict, while in 2011, 2,777 people were killed, the statement said.

Baghdad saw the highest number of people killed between 2004 and 2011 at 23,898, while Muthanna province in the south saw the lowest at 94, it said.

The numbers are significantly lower than previous figures that cover a shorter time span, including figures from Iraq’s own human rights ministry.

The human rights ministry said in an October 2009 report that 85,694 people were killed between 2004 and 2008.

And the U.S. military’s Central Command posted figures on its website in July 2010 that indicated that 76,939 Iraqis, including security forces members, had been killed from January 2004 to August 2008.

Independent British website www.iraqbodycount.org says that at least 114,584 civilians were killed in violence in Iraq from the US-led invasion of 2003 through December 30, 2011.

Bombings continue

While violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common and have somehow increased after the U.S. troops’ pullout from Iraq at the end of 2011. At least 151 people were killed in January.

Iraqi civilians have complained that bombings are occurring almost every Thursday.

On Wednesday, car bombs in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed six people, including three security force members, and wounded at least 10, security and medical officials said.

The blast in the capital struck at around 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in the eastern Ameen neighborhood, killing three people and wounding at least nine, an interior ministry official and medical officials said.

Another car bomb in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometers (110 miles) north of Baghdad, detonated at around 8:30 am (0530 GMT) as a joint military-police patrol was passing.

Three security force members ̶ an army lieutenant colonel, a policeman and a soldier ̶ were killed, and one soldier was wounded, according to Lieutenant Colonel Jassim al-Bayati of Tuz police and Dr Hidayet Mustafa at Tuz hospital.

In Diyala province north of the capital, gunmen attacked a checkpoint east of the provincial capital Baquba late on Tuesday, killing a member of the Sahwa anti-Qaeda militia and wounding two others, a police lieutenant colonel said.

The Sahwa are made up of Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents who joined forces with the U.S. military against Qaeda from late 2006, helping to turn the tide against the insurgency.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Qaeda in Iraq said last week that a Sunni Muslim war against Shiites in Iraq is inevitable and threatened relentless waves of attacks like the one on last Thursday that killed at least 55 people.

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