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Iraq: Mortuaries swamped as toll estimate hits 25,000

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:19 AM
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Iraq: Mortuaries swamped as toll estimate hits 25,000
July 20, 2005

Mortuaries swamped as toll estimate hits 25,000
By James Hider in Baghdad and Michael Evans in London

FROM the street outside Baghdads main mortuary, it looks more like a bus station: dozens of minibuses line up as crowds of men stream in with empty wooden coffins, then out again bearing loaded ones on their shoulders, chanting prayers as they go.

The line of about 50 male relatives in the courtyard never seems to diminish, and the yard itself is full of empty coffins awaiting their grisly load. Murder is booming in Baghdad, and some mortuary staff say that their workload has doubled in the past month.

The latest prominent targets to be shot yesterday in Baghdad were Sheikh Mijbil al-Sheikh Issa and Dhamin Ileywi, two Sunni members of the committee that is writing the constitution. They were killed with a third Sunni, a committee adviser, as they left a restaurant after lunch.

Yesterday in London figures were published estimating that more than 25,000 civilians have been killed and 42,000 wounded in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003. A report by Iraq Body Count, an activist group, and Oxford Research Group, claimed the death toll for the 12 months to the end of March was 11,351, almost double the toll for the previous year.,,7374-1700874,00...
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