Iraq Still Four Times More Dangerous For Civilians Than Afghanistan

This is the war that never ends…

Reuters, today:

A total of 4,471 civilians died in Iraq’s festering “low-level war” with insurgents in 2012, the first annual climb in the death toll in three years, campaigners said on Tuesday.

The deaths, up from 4,059 in 2011, showed militant fighters were still bent on carrying out large-scale bomb attacks, said rights group Iraq Body Count (IBC) in its annual report.

Tensions between Shi’ite, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq’s power-sharing government have been on the rise this year and the civil war in neighbouring Syria is whipping up sectarian tension across the region.

WaPo, two days ago:

The AP tally showed that at least 822 Afghan civilians had been killed by the Taliban and other militants this year while another 119 died in NATO airstrikes and other operations. That was a decrease from last year, when 1,151 were killed by insurgents and 283 by NATO. Substantially smaller numbers perish when caught in crossfires.

The United Nations reported different casualty figures but also noted that civilian deaths had decreased, reversing a five-year trend of mounting civilian deaths. Its latest report says that during the first six months of the year, 1,145 civilians died in conflict-related violence, compared with 1,510 in the same period of 2011. The U.N. considers insurgent land mines and roadside bombs to be particularly deadly for civilians.

Both nations have a population of around 30 million – but there’s only a war on in Afghanistan, apparently.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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