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Iraq morgue 'receives 1100 dead'

THE number of dead Iraqi civilians counted at the Baghdad morgue hit 1100 in July, the highest toll in recent history, a British newspaper reported today, blaming the daily violence.

The Independent said the figure was just 700 short of the total number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since April 2003, after the US-led invasion.

"The July figures are the largest ever recorded in the history of the Baghdad Medical Institute," an anonymous, senior member of the management at the morgue was quoted as telling the newspaper.

The death toll was up from about 800 in July last year and 700 during the same month in 2003, according to the left-wing daily.

By comparison, equivalent figures for July 1997, 1998 and 1999 - during the leadership of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein - were all below 200, The Independent said.

Many of today's corpses were badly mutilated, meaning that between 10 and 20 per cent of them were never identified, the newspaper said.

Since January, the medical authorities have buried 500 nameless bodies.

"In many cases, the remains have been shattered by explosions - possibly by suicide bombs - or by deliberate disfigurement by their killers," it said.

Most of the victims were aged between 15 and 44. Most of them were male, the article said.

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