Baghdad morgue out of space

June 30, 2006 at 11:01 AM
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BAGHDAD, June 30 (UPI) -- Baghdad's morgue has run out room to store bodies as more victims of smoldering violence in the Iraqi capital are delivered.

More than 100 bodies are being held at room temperature because morgue refrigerators are full, inspector-general of Iraq's health ministry Adil Abdul Muhsin told Al-Mada news.

Muhsin said the morgue had received 8,000 bodies so far this year, compared with 10,150 for the whole of last year.

A new estimate of Iraqi deaths since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion shows at least 50,000 on the books but the toll is thought to be higher, according to a new Los Angeles Times report.

Data was collected from the Iraqi Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue to reach the 50,000 figure, which is already more than 30,000 President Bush estimated last year, the report notes.

The U.S. military, however, says the number of Iraqi civilians killed by coalition forces is down sharply so far this year compared with last year.

Figures show Iraqi civilians killed at checkpoints, roadblocks and along convoys has averaged one per week so far this year, compared to one per day last year, reports The New York Times.

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