Another year of relentless violence in Iraq | IBC’s 2016 analysis of civilian deaths

(for the full report see

Image result for iraq body count 2016  Image result for iraq body count hamourtziadou

IBC’s 2016 analysis of civilian deaths





1. 2016 Summary and comparison to preceding years
2016 has seen deadly violence continue to impact Iraqi civilians on a daily basis. This has been most significant this year in the northern city of Mosul and surrounding areas in Ninewa province under the control of Islamic State (IS), where it has carried out thousands of killings and executions. At the same time, the region has been under almost constant bombardment by US-Coalition and Iraqi government forces seeking to oust IS. Baghdad and its surroundings, even while not an area of direct conflict between IS and government forces, has witnessed daily attacks by roadside bombs, shootings and executions, as well as occasional mass casualty bombings. Civilians in Iraq, whether in contested war zones or not, have continued to lose their lives at levels similar to those that have characterised Iraq since mid-2013.

The annual total for civilian deaths in Iraq in 2016 was 16,361, which is within a broad range encompassing 2015 (17,578) and 2014 (20,218). These past three years are very much higher than the years 2010-2012, the least violent period since the invasion, when the annual numbers ranged from 4,167 to 4,622, and are also substantially higher than 2013 (9,852) which saw the beginning of the change from the pre-2013 levels to current levels. 1 hide data table

1These figures are taken from the higher number in IBC’s range, and for December 2016 use IBC’s preliminary figures. Both these and the lower end of IBC’s range tend to be exceeded over time.
2″Reductions” in this context an abstract concept, as deaths are cumulative and their number can only increase. Reported reductions are to the rate at which deaths accumulated in a given place and period. Every life lost represents an increase in their absolute number.
Table 1. Monthly civilian death toll, 2012-16
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
January 531 357 1,097 1,490 1,374
February 356 360 972 1,625 1,258
March 377 403 1,029 1,105 1,459
April 392 545 1,037 2,013 1,192
May 304 888 1,100 1,295 1,276
June 529 659 4,088 1,355 1,405
July 469 1,145 1,580 1,845 1,233
August 422 1,013 3,340 1,991 1,375
September 400 1,306 1,474 1,445 935
October 290 1,180 1,738 1,297 1,969
November 253 870 1,436 1,021 1,740
December 299 1,126 1,327 1,096 1,145
Totals 4,622 9,852 20,218 17,578 16,361

An average of more than 1,300 civilians were killed in violence every month, the main exception being the September low of (935) which was however immediately followed by a peak of more than double that in October (1,969).

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