30 Dec 2010

Violent deaths in Iraq fall

3:05 pm on 30 December 2010

Figures just released suggest that there's been a significant drop this year in the number of civilians who have been killed by violence in Iraq.

Iraq Body Count (IBC), which collates casualty reports, said deaths dropped by 15% from 2009 to just under 4000.

It said on average two bombs exploded somewhere in Iraq each day, each killing an average of nearly four people reports the BBC.

But IBC said the rate of improvement has slowed and it warned the number may have reached an "impassable minimum" and that civilians were likely to die at a similar rate for years to come.

In its annual report IBC said 3976 people had died violently in Iraq over the past year, compared to 4680 in 2009.

Of the 2010 deaths, 66% were caused by insurgent bomb attacks.

The capital Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul were the worst affected areas.