New UN Report Reveals Staggering Number of Casualties in Iraq in 2015

The numbers could be even higher, the UN said.

ByLouise Dewast
January 19, 2016, 8:09 AM
PHOTO: In this file photo, Peshmerga forces take positions in Sinjar, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2015.
In this file photo, Peshmerga forces take positions in Sinjar, Iraq, Nov. 15, 2015.
John Moore/Getty Images

— -- At least 18,802 civilians were killed in Iraq and another 36,245 were wounded between Jan. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015, according to a new report by the United Nations.

Due to difficulties in verifying every incident, the numbers could be even higher, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), who published the report.

“Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including body-borne (BBIED), vehicle-borne (VBIED), and suicide vehicle-borne (SVBIED) devices, were the deadliest tactic used against civilians,” the report said. “The remaining civilian casualties were attributed to airstrikes, shelling, small arms fire, burning, beheading, knife attacks, unexploded ordnance, and other means.”

The Iraq Body Count, which maintains the world’s largest public database of civilian deaths in Iraq since 2003, separately described 2015 as "a catastrophic normal."

“More were killed in 2015 than in the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined,” according to the Iraq Body Count.

The independent group stated that in 2015, 8,818 civilians were reported killed by the Islamic State, while coalition and Iraqi airstrikes killed 1,295 civilians. "Unidentified actors" reportedly executed 1,246 civilians last year.

In addition, more than 3 million have been displaced due to raging violence in Iraq, the UN said, including over 1 million school-age girls and boys from January 2014 through September 2015.

At least 4,424 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq War since March 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

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