Iraqis reject new US figures on number of civilian casualties

Iraqis reject new US figures on number of civilian casualties

Iraqis on Friday rejected new US figures on the number of civilian deaths in the Iraq conflict, saying they were well below the actual number who died, reported dpa.

On Thursday, the US military in Iraq released data showing 63,185 civilians and 13,754 members of Iraq's security forces were killed from early 2004 to August 2008, some 22,000 less than Iraq government figures.

"These figures and statistics have nothing to do with events in Iraq after the US occupation," Dhafir al-Ani, a former member of Iraq's parliament, said in a telephone interview with the German Press Agency dpa.

He argued that the numbers were misleading because they may not include assassinations and operations conducted by the US military, some of which targeted civilians in their homes.

In contrast to the new US figures, Iraq's Human Rights Ministry reported last year that a total of 85,694 Iraqis were killed and 147,195 were wounded from the beginning of 2004 through the end of October 2008.

In both studies, the figures do not include deaths from the immediate aftermath of the US-led invasion in March 2003 and it is unclear whether militant deaths were included.

Iraqi politician Ibrahim al-Sumaidae also dismissed the US military's figures, describing them as "illogical."

"It seems that the US military wanted to say to the public in the United States that the mission in Iraq ended with the least losses," said al-Sumaidae.

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