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Nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the two years since the invasion, and four times as many died at the hands of US-led forces as from suicide bombers and other insurgents, according to a detailed study of the human cost of the conflict.
The survey, which calculates the toll of dead and injured since March 2003, also shows that the rate of criminal violence has risen dramatically.
According to Iraq Body Count and the Oxford Research Group, the two independent researchers behind the study, the figures in the report should be regarded as the "baseline of the minimum number of deaths".
It has concluded that
· at least 24,865 civilians were killed up to March 19 2005;
· 9,270 or 37% died at the hands of the Americans or other coalition forces (86 were killed by British troops, 23 by Italians, and 13 by Ukrainians). Most of these deaths are thought to have occurred during the conflict and its aftermath.
· The second largest cause of death (36%) was criminal violence.
· Anti-occupation forces have been responsible for 2,353 deaths.
· At least 50 babies up to the age of two have been killed;
· 1,281 children aged between three and 17 have also died.