A group that monitors the death toll in Iraq believes the number of civilian deaths in 2009 to be less than half the number for 2008. Yet the United Kingdom-based group said that terrorist violence “still afflicts Iraq’s population more than any other.” –JCL

The BBC:

Violence against civilians in Iraq dropped dramatically in 2009, with the lowest death toll since the 2003 US-led invasion, a monitoring group says.

The independent Iraq Body Count group puts the number of civilian deaths for the year up to 16 December at 4,497, less than half the 2008 total of 9,226.

However, it says the impact of security improvements has levelled off and more large-scale attacks are being launched.

Official Iraqi statistics put the number of civilian deaths much lower.

[…] The UK-based non-governmental group bases its reports on media accounts and information from hospitals, morgues and civil society groups.

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