The United Nations said Wednesday that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll since the March 2003 U.S. invasion and another sign of the severity of Iraq’s sectarian bloodbath.
The U.N. tally was more than three times higher than the total The Associated Press had tabulated for the month, and far more than the 2,866 U.S. service members who have died during all of the war.
The report on civilian casualties, handed out at a U.N. news conference in Baghdad, said the influence of militias was growing and torture continued to be rampant, despite the Iraqi government’s vow to address human rights abuses.
“Hundreds of bodies continued to appear in different areas of Baghdad handcuffed, blindfolded and bearing signs of torture and execution-style killing,” the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq report said. “Many witnesses reported that perpetrators wear militia attire and even police or army uniforms.”
The report painted a grim picture across the board, from attacks on journalists, judges and lawyers and the worsening situation of women to displacement, violence against religious minorities and the targeting of schools.
Based on figures from the Iraqi Health Ministry, the country’s hospitals and the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad, the report said October’s figure was higher than July’s previously unprecedented civilian death toll of 3,590. more
By every measure our Iraq policy is a failure.