One of the most opaque issues that we cover here in Baghdad is violence — officials are reticent to be quoted on the record, journalists are frequently restricted from accessing the sites of attacks, and authorities often clean up areas where bombings or shootings have taken place very quickly after they occur (which is also a problem for forensic investigators).
Violence in Iraq remains high by any reasonable measure, but it only makes headlines during those terrible days when many are killed. The days when “only” a handful die rarely make news these days. Yesterday, for example, at least eight people were killed — six soldiers, one police general, and a teenage boy who was horribly mutilated.
With all of that in mind, I have opened up AFP’s internal spreadsheet tracking daily casualties from attacks in Iraq — it is free for anyone to use for any purpose, but I ask that you cite AFP when you do use it. All reports are based on reports attributed to officials — either two credible, but unnamed, officials, or one credible named source. We have obviously been tracking violence here for some time, but only recently began putting it into an online spreadsheet.