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Pentagon: 26,000 Iraqi Casualties In Insurgency

An oil pipeline burning after an insurgent attack in February 2005 (epa) 30 October 2005 -- With violence continuing in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department has released figures suggesting that some 26,000 Iraqis, both civil and military, have been killed or wounded in insurgent attacks since 1 January 2004.

The Associated Press reports that the toll is derived from daily Iraqi casualty estimates that the Pentagon has provided in response to questions from staffers working for members of the U.S. Congress.

The U.S. Defense Department itself did not compute an overall total.

The Pentagon report says that in the most recent period for which figures are available, from 29 August to 16 September of this year, the U.S. military estimates that 64 Iraqis were killed or injured in insurgent attacks each day.

A Pentagon spokesman said the estimates were gathered from initial incident reports by units of U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq. The spokesman acknowledged that the U.S. military does not maintain a comprehensive count of Iraqi casualties.

Violence Continues

Meanwhile, reports from Iraq say at least six people died today in various violent incidents.

Two men died south of Baghdad when insurgents set off a bomb next to their oil tanker truck, creating an enormous

In separate drive-by shootings in the capital, two construction workers and the driver of a car carrying Iraqi cabinet advisor Ghalib Abdul Mahdi were killed. In Samarra, north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed a farmer on his tractor.

The latest violence follows the death of some 25 Iraqis yesterday when a truck bomb exploded in the Shi'ite village of Huweder north of Baghdad.

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