The accounts of civilian deaths among nearly 400,000 purported Iraq war logs released Friday by the WikiLeaks website include deaths unknown or unreported before now — as many as 15,000 by the count of one independent research group.
The field reports from U.S. forces and intelligence officers also indicate U.S. forces often failed to follow up on credible evidence that Iraqi forces mistreated, tortured and killed their captives as they battled a violent insurgency.
Iraq Body Count, a private British-based group that has tracked the number of Iraqi civilians killed since the war began, said it had analyzed the information and found 15,000 previously unreported deaths, which would raise its total from as many as 107,369 civilians to more than 122,000 civilians.
It said most of the newly disclosed deaths included targeted assassinations, drive-by shootings, torture, executions and checkpoint killings.
The Iraqi government has issued a tally claiming at least 85,694 deaths of civilians and security officials were killed between January 2004 and Oct. 31, 2008.