How Many Dead?

How Many Dead?

THE SOURCE: “The Number” by Dale Keiger, in Johns Hopkins Magazine, Feb. 2007.

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Were nearly 700,000 civilians killed in the first three years of the Iraq war? When epidemiologists Gilbert H. Burnham and Leslie F. Roberts of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health published that estimate in the British medical journal The Lancet a few weeks before the 2006 U.S. congressional election, it made headlines around the world, reports Dale Keiger, a senior writer for Johns Hopkins Magazine. British prime minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush both rejected it. “I don’t consider it a credible report,” Bush said.

Around the time the study appeared, the U.S. and Iraqi governments were citing 30,000 Iraqi deaths, while other sources put the death toll up to several times greater.

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