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US Military Releases Partial Iraqi Civilian Casualty Numbers

At least 16 people were killed in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad Thursday, as Iraqi civilians continued to bear the brunt of the daily violence in Iraq. According to the U.S. Military, more than 3,100 Iraqi civilians have been killed or wounded over the past 14 weeks.

Since June 2004 in Iraq, there have been an average of about 500 attacks per week on U.S. soldiers, Iraqi security forces, and Iraqi civilians.

Major General Rick Lynch says it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt.

"The predominant number of casualties are in the Iraqi civilian population," he explained. "If you work the numbers, you realize that 50 percent of casualties in that reporting period, are Iraqi civilians, innocent Iraqi civilians, men women and children."

The numbers General Lynch referred to are from what the military calls a casualty trend report, released to the news media Thursday. The report shows that, in the past 14 months, more than 5,800 people have been killed or wounded in Iraq, including U.S. military personnel and Iraqi security forces. More than half were Iraqi civilians.

The numbers did not include a breakdown of killed and wounded.

General Lynch on Thursday said that, since January 2004, 11,000 people were killed or wounded on 107 particularly deadly days. Late last year, addressing the World Affairs Council in Philidelphia, President Bush estimated that some 30,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the initial 2003 incursion and the continuing violence.