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“Staggering”: 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Over 21 Months

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/19/16

Details via CNN:

Nearly 19,000 civilians were killed in Iraq between January 2014 and October 2015 — a toll the United Nations calls “staggering” in a new report.

The report, released Tuesday, outlines the horrific impact that Iraq‘s ongoing conflict is having on its civilian population.

The numbers are mind-boggling. In the 21-month period:

• At least 18,802 civilians were killed, about half of them in Baghdad.

• Another 36,245 were injured.

• About 3.2 million people were internally displaced, including a million school-aged children.

The actual figures could be much higher, the report said.

Much of the suffering was attributed to ISIS, the brutal Islamist terror group which has declared an Islamic caliphate across the vast stretches of territory it holds in Iraq and neighboring Syria — although the report also documented alleged abuses by Iraqi security forces and allied groups fighting ISIS.

“The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,” the report said, using another name for ISIS.

The group, which has controlled Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, since June 2014, employed horrifying methods of killing, the report says, including beheading, bulldozing, burning alive and throwing people off the tops of buildings.

However, improvised explosive devices — including explosives worn by suicide bombers and those carried in vehicles — were the deadliest tactic used against civilians, it said.

The report was prepared by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and was based largely on testimony obtained directly from survivors or witnesses of rights violations, including interviews with internally displaced people.

Read more.

Photo: Iraqi refugee family via Wikipedia

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