UN reports nearly 19,000 Iraqi civilian deaths in 22 months

The New York Times reports: Nearly 19,000 Iraqi civilians have died and more than three million have fled their homes over a 22-month period marked by a “staggering” level of violence, the United Nations said on Tuesday, in a report that starkly demonstrated why huge numbers of Iraqis were seeking refuge in Europe.

Fighting between the Islamic State, Iraqi security forces and pro-government militias from the start of 2014 to the end of October 2015 left at least 18,802 civilians dead, the United Nations mission in Iraq said in a report compiled jointly with the organization’s human rights office in Geneva.

Nearly double that number of civilians has been wounded in the fighting, the report said, adding that officials had emphasized that the casualty estimates were a minimum.

“Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq,” the United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said in a statement, which noted that “countless others” had died from the lack of access to food, water and medical care. [Continue reading…]

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