The US military released its most detailed compilation of data on Iraqi casualties during more than four years of the Iraq war, reporting that 63,185 civilians and 13,754 members of the country's security forces were killed from the beginning of 2004 through August 2008.
The number of Iraqis killed in the more than seven-year-old war is a hotly debated topic. Estimates range from fewer than 100,000 to hundreds of thousands, and it is difficult to determine which number is the most accurate.
The casualty figures released by the US are lower than Iraqi government accounts. Iraq's Human Rights Ministry reported last year that 85,694 Iraqis, including military and police personnel, were killed from the beginning of 2004 through October 2008.
A spokesman for the ministry said the US military data were close to its figures and should not be dismissed. Kamel Amin, the spokesman said, “This number has social consequences. Behind the number of dead are scores of handicapped people, widows and orphans.”
The US data include the bloodiest years of the war, from 2005 to 2007, when sectarian violence gripped the nation. In the period covered by the US report, at least 121,649 Iraqis were wounded. Among coalition troops, 3,592 were killed and 30,068 wounded.
The United States military collects detailed information on Iraqi casualties but has largely been unwilling to make it public, only occasionally releasing limited data on civilian fatalities.
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