01:44 PM EDT Jul 14
BAGHDAD (AP) - Violent deaths among Iraqi civilians far exceeded those of soldiers or police in the first six months of this year, according to figures obtained Thursday from separate Iraqi government ministries.
Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 1,594 civilians were killed, according to the Ministry of Health. Civilians often bear the brunt of car-bombings and suicide attacks. Many have also been killed in attacks by Iraqi and U.S. forces.
By contrast, a total of 895 security forces - 275 Iraqi soldiers and 620 police - were killed in bombings, assassinations or armed clashes with insurgents, according to figures from the interior and defence ministries.
The civilian and security forces deaths total 2,489. The number of insurgents killed during that six-month period was 781, the government said.
Violence in Iraq has surged since April 28, when Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced a new government dominated by Shiites and Kurds. From April 28 to July 13, at least 1,786 civilians and Iraqi security forces were killed in Iraq, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press from hospital and police officials cited in news stories.
Earlier this year, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr told The AP that more mosques and clerics from the country's majority Shiite community had been attacked than those belonging to the Sunni minority.
The minister, citing figures he obtained from an Interior Ministry research centre, said about 12,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed during the previous 18 months. Of those, more than 10,000 were Shiites, he said.
Jabr said he analysed the figures based on the areas where the victims lived and not data explicitly stating their branch of Islam.
© The Canadian Press, 2005
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