Published Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 | 4:01 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 | 4:01 a.m.
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — A research group tracking civilian deaths in Iraq says violence and military operations claimed the lives of more than 16,000 Iraqis last year.
The London-based Iraqi Body Count reported Thursday that 16,361 Iraqis died, with the northern province of Nineveh the worst hit at 7,431 people killed. The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, was next with 3,714 civilians killed.
Nineveh's capital, Mosul, fell to the Islamic State group in a mid-2014 onslaught that ended with seizing a swath of territory in northern and western Iraq. Iraqi troops have dislodged the militants from major areas in a massive operation that began in October.
Iraqi Body Count began documenting civilian deaths in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. It compiles reports from media outlets, non-governmental organizations and Iraqi government sources.