Iraqi soldiers tend to the dead after a suicide attack disrupted an Army Day celebration in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood last Sunday.
The tragic task of tallying the number of Iraqis who have been killed in the war has been attempted by various parties with vastly different results, largely because of built-in logistical issues, and now the WHO’s health ministry has released its own figures while acknowledging the impossibility of precision.
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.