First official report by the Iraqi government says 85,000 Iraqis killed from 2004-2008

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BAGHDAD — At least 85,000 people lost their lives from 2004 to 2008 in Iraq's violence, according to the first official report by the Iraqi government on the death toll since the war begun.

The report, released by the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry late Tuesday as part of a larger study on the country's human rights situation, said 85,694 people were killed from 2004-08, and 147,195 were wounded during the same period.

The Associated Press reported in April that just over 87,000 people died between 2005 and early 2009, according to government statistics it obtained.

The Iraqi death toll has been a hotly disputed subject and critics on both sides of the political spectrum have accused the other side of manipulating the death numbers to sway public opinion.

As Iraq became increasingly violent following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, it also became increasingly difficult to independently track such figures on a wide scale.

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