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Iraqi civilian death rate climbing fast

BAGHDAD, July 14 (UPI) -- Iraq's Interior Ministry reports more than 800 Iraq civilians and police officers were killed each month between last August and May.

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In response to an inquiry from The New York Times, the ministry said 8,175 Iraqis were killed by insurgents in the 10-month period that ended May 31.

The numbers do not account for civilian deaths caused by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers in military offensives, at checkpoints or on raids.

The ministry listed 15,517 wounded in the same period, of which men made up 91 percent of the total.

Another count is provided by the U.S.-based non-profit group, Iraq Body Count, which compiles fatality figures from media reports. Its most recent tally, which includes Iraqis who died in the 2003 war, put the total at 22,787.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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