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Iraqi Death Toll - Lancet Medical Journal

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Submitted by Sidda (United States), Mar 1, 2006 at 09:45

Most non-governmental estimates put the Iraqi death toll at between 10,000 and 30,000. The 100,000 number came from a study that was published in the Lancet Medical Journal.

The study was designed and conducted by researachers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

The methodology of the study has been criticized as flawed for the following reason: the information was obtained as interviewers surveyed 808 families, consisting of 7,868 people in 33 different "clusters" or neighborhoods spread across the country. In each case they asked how many births and deaths there had been in the home since January 2002 for any reason. That information was then compared with the death rates in each neighborhood in the 15 months BEFORE the invasion that toppled Saddam, adjusted for the different time frames, and EXTRAPOLATED to cover the entire 24.4 million population of Iraq.

This kind of survey is considered acceptable by scientists and was used to calculate war deaths in Kosovo in the late 1990s; however, the numbers can easily be manipulated if researchers concentrate on "hot spots" such as Fallujah and the Sunni triangle.

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