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Baghdad Says 150,000 Iraqis Killed

The funeral of a member of the Iraqi security forces in Al-Karbala this October (epa) November 9, 2006 -- Iraqi Health Minister Ali al-Shammari today said violence over the past 3 1/2 years has killed some 150,000 Iraqis.

Al-Shammari said that for every person killed about three were injured. He also said attacks were exhausting the finances of his ministry and that hospitals were in need of aid.

The death toll rose by 43 on November 9, with violence erupting anew in Baghdad and other volatile regions after a round-the-clock curfew was lifted on November 7.

The curfew was imposed on November 5 after former dictator Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett warned on November 9 that Iraq risks descending into even worse chaos and bloodshed.

In a speech, she pledged that British troops -- who joined the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003 -- will remain there as long as the Baghdad government wants them.

(compiled from agency reports)

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