More than 100,000 civilians have probably died as direct or indirect consequences of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to a study by a research team at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
The report was published on the Internet by The Lancet, the British medical journal. The figure is far higher than previous mortality estimates. Editors of the journal decided not to wait for The Lancet's normal publication date next week, but instead to place the research online Friday, apparently so it could circulate before the U.S. presidential election.
The finding is certain to generate intense controversy, since the Bush administration has not estimated civilian casualties from the conflict, and independent groups have put the number at most in the tens of thousands.
In the study, teams of researchers fanned out across Iraq in mid-September to interview nearly 1,000 families in 33 previously selected locations. Families were interviewed about births and deaths in the household before and after the invasion.