Iraq Body Count, a British non-governmental agency that tracks only confirmed deaths, released its estimate of war fatalities. They calculated that about 162,000 people were killed in violence that took place since the beginning of the war in 2003 until its formal end last month. At least 114,000 of those were civilians. The rest of the deaths include police, militia and military personnel.
Although 90 percent of the deaths occurred by 2009, since then, the casualty rate has been lower and relatively steady. However, this apparent stability began about the time that many journalists were leaving the country. Although it may only be a coincidence, the reduction of reporters made compiling figures even more difficult.
Also according to I.B.C., in the last year the number of deaths rose slightly but only by 83, from 3,976 to 4,059 fatalities. The worst attack, a coordinated bombing campaign against Shi’ite targets in Baghdad, occurred on Dec. 22 and left 74 people dead. U.S. forces had withdrawn from the country only days earlier, but when the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility, they said the bloodshed was in support of Sunni prisoners.
I.B.C. has also said that supplementing its own original figure of 114,000 civilians by turning to the Wikileaks cables could add 15,000 more deaths. Another organization, Just Foreign Policy, has estimated that counting unreported deaths could bring the number of war fatalities to almost 1.5 million.
The height of the killings occurred during the sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.