This report is from the Times of India:
'150,000 civilians killed in Iraq war'[ 10 Nov, 2006 2030hrs ISTAP ]
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BAGHDAD: A stunning new death count emerged Thursday, as Iraq's health minister estimated 150,000 civilians have been killed in the war — about three times previously accepted estimates. Moderate Sunni Muslims, meanwhile, threatened to walk away from politics and pick up guns, while the Shia-dominated government renewed pressure on the United States to unleash the Iraqi army and claimed it could crush violence in six months. After Democrats swept to majorities in both houses of the US Congress and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned, Iraqis appeared unsettled and seemed to sense the potential for an even bloodier conflict because future American policy is uncertain. As a result, positions hardened on both sides of the country's deepening sectarian divide. Previous estimates of Iraq deaths held that 45,000-50,000 have been killed in the nearly 44-month-old conflict, according to partial figures from Iraqi institutions and media reports. No official count has ever been available. Health minister Ali al-Shemari gave his new estimate of 150,000 to reporters during a visit to Vienna, Austria. He later said that he based the figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals — though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total. "It is an estimate,"al-Shemari said. He blamed Sunni insurgents, Wahhabis — Sunni religious extremists — and criminal gangs for the deaths. Hassan Salem, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said the 150,000 figure included civilians, police and the bodies of people who were abducted, later found dead and collected at morgues run by the health ministry."