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.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig