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39,000 Iraqis killed in fighting, new study finds

UNITED NATIONS, Tuesday (Reuters) Some 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since the U.S.-led invasion, a figure considerably higher than previous estimates, a Swiss institute reported on Monday.

The public database Iraqi Body Count, by comparison, estimates that between 22,787 and 25,814 Iraqi civilians have died since the March 2003 invasion, based on reports from at least two media sources.

No official estimates of Iraqi casualties from the war have been issued, although military deaths from the U.S.-led coalition forces are closely tracked and now total 1,937.

The new estimate was compiled by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies and published in its latest annual small arms survey, released at a U.N. news conference. It builds on a study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, last October, which concluded there had been 100,000 "excess deaths" in Iraq from all causes since March 2003. That figure was derived by conducting surveys of Iraqi mortality data during the war and comparing the results to similar data collected before the war.

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