01/03/2011, 00.00
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Civilian casualties drop by 15 per cent in 2010

For the Iraq Body Count, war- and attacks-related deaths stood just under 4,000, the lowest figure since 2003. However, security remains a problem with 66 per cent of deaths due to terror attacks.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The number of civilians killed by political violence in Iraq in the past year was the lowest since 2003, the Iraq Body Count (IBC) reported, 15 per cent less than in 2009. In its annual report, the IBC said that 3,976 people died violently in Iraq over the past year, compared to 4,680 in 2009.

The group warned though that the number may have reached an "impassable minimum", and that civilians were likely to die at a similar rate for years to come.

“After nearly eight years, the security crisis in Iraq remains notable for its sheer relentlessness: 2010 averaged nearly two explosions a day by non-state forces that caused civilian deaths," IBC said.

"As well as occurring almost daily, these lethal explosions can happen almost anywhere, with 2010's attacks occurring in 13 of Iraq's 18 administrative regions,” the report added. The capital Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul were the worst affected areas.

Overall, the group says 108,398 Iraqis died in violence since 2003, about one in every 1,000 people in the country. The figures are much higher than those reported by the Iraqi government.

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