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New Report Finds Over 80,000 Iraqis Killed Since 2005

By VOA News

The Associated Press reports that the Iraqi government has counted more than 87,000 Iraqis killed in violence since 2005.

The news agency said it received the information from a government official who requested anonymity. The source said the death toll could be 10 - 20 percent higher because of thousands more civilians missing or unaccounted for.

On Thursday, three suicide bombings in Iraq killed at least 78 people - making it one of the most violent days in the country in more than a year.

In the deadliest attack, a bomber detonated explosives in a restaurant in Diyala province. Police say at least 47 people were killed, many of them Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims.

In Baghdad, police say at least 28 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives where police were distributing aid to displaced families.

Top Sunni militant captured

Also Thursday, authorities in Baghdad announced the capture of a top Sunni insurgent, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

A security spokesman, General Qassem Mohammed Atta, said al-Baghdadi was arrested in the capital. The detainee is said to lead the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq.

Iraqi authorities in the past have announced the arrest or killing of major insurgent leaders, only to later say the reports were false.

In Washington, Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman said that if the report is true, it would be very good news.

Much of the recent violence has been blamed on Sunni insurgents.

The Iraqi security spokesman said Thursday's blasts that wounded more than 100 people bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

... Payvand News - 4/23/09 ... --

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