Monday, May 19, 2003

The Los Angeles Times reports this:

At least 1,700 Iraqi civilians died and more than 8,000 were injured in the battle for the Iraqi capital, according to a Los Angeles Times survey of records from 27 hospitals in the capital and its outlying districts.

In addition, undocumented civilian deaths in Baghdad number at least in the hundreds and could reach 1,000, according to Islamic burial societies and humanitarian groups that are trying to trace those missing in the conflict.

Again, that's Baghdad alone.

The article explains the survey methods used at hospitals and other care facilities, and the method for arriving at that figure of 1,700 seems careful. Meanwhile, an estimate of 1,000 additional undocumented deaths comes from the Red Crescent:

Haidar Tari, director of tracing missing persons for the Iraqi Red Crescent, estimated there could have been up to 3,000 ... undocumented burials, perhaps one-third of them involving civilians. The Red Crescent has half a dozen teams working in districts where large numbers of dead were buried, but has not yet gained access to some areas under U.S. military control, including a large swath of land near the airport.

Hardest to trace will be people who died while traveling, Tari said. Their relatives might not have known when they left home, or where they were headed, and thus have no idea where to look.

"On one stretch of highway alone, there were more than 50 civilian cars, each with four or five people incinerated inside, that sat in the sun for 10 or 15 days before they were buried nearby by volunteers," Tari said. "That is what there will be for their relatives to come and find. War is bad, but its remnants are worse."

(As usual, use "clipjoint" as both member name and password if you're not already registered.)

(Thanks to
Rational Enquirer for the link.)

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