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100,000 Civilians Dead in Iraq 478

Posted by michael
from the one-is-a-tragedy-100,000-is-a-statistic dept.
asldihf writes "New Scientist is reporting that 100,000 civilians in Iraq are now dead due to America's war in Iraq. Make sure you vote next week."
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100,000 Civilians Dead in Iraq

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:48AM (#10663505)
    How many of his own people Saddam killed. And how many of those deaths are due to terrorists trying to recapture his legacy.
    • by theghost (156240) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:56AM (#10663603)
      RTFA
      The most common cause of death is as a direct result of violence, mostly caused by coalition air strikes...
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:58AM (#10663631)


      > How many of his own people Saddam killed.

      At least three times that many, plus about 900,000,000 Iranian soldiers in the gratuitous war he started.

      But the question is, how come we're invoking that as an retcon [wikipedia.org] justification after failing to discover WMD, when we didn't lift a finger to stop him while he was actually doing it.

      > And how many of those deaths are due to terrorists trying to recapture his legacy.

      I would guess that most of the terrorists are trying to set up another radical Islamic state rather than bring Saddam back.

      Some of the resistance fighters may be Saddamists (Saddamites?) though.



      • Ummm.. that's almost a billion, I don't think so.
      • by isotope23 (210590) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:06AM (#10663719) Homepage Journal
        "At least three times that many, plus about 900,000,000 Iranian soldiers in the gratuitous war he started."

        Don't forget that we provided intelligence TO
        Saddam during that war [gwu.edu]
  • different stats (Score:4, Informative)

    by cheeseSource (605209) <snailbarn@@@yahoo...com> on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:50AM (#10663525) Journal
    http://www.iraqbodycount.net/

    Different sites have different stats, but one civilian death is one too many.
    • Re:different stats (Score:3, Interesting)

      by timothv (730957)
      The stats at iraqbodycount are only the ones reported by the media.
    • Re:different stats (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tha_mink (518151)
      Don't forget that the body count of civilians is not entirely due to American force. It's just a body count. Lot's have died due to their countrymen's efforts.
      • by Onan (25162) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:13PM (#10664593)
        As TFA notes: this is 100,000 deaths above the death rate for a previous pre-war period, and; the most common cause of these deaths was airstrikes.

        So unless you're suggesting that their countrymen have an extensive air force that they'd been planning on using regardless of the US's invasion, no, it's pretty accurate to characterize these deaths as being the result of American acts.

    • Re:different stats (Score:4, Informative)

      by Leftist Troll (825839) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:02AM (#10663675)
      Iraq Body Count only includes verified deaths reported by credible media outlets. The 100,000 stat is an estimate based on door-to-door surveys, which should be more accurate. That's why I made it my sig yesterday. Also, note this excerpt from the VOA article my sig links to:
      The researchers did not include deaths in the volatile city of Fallujah in their final analysis, saying that would have skewed the death toll much higher.
    • Re:different stats (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nes11 (767888)
      "Different sites have different stats, but one civilian death is one too many."

      This is from a relatively unbiased group that studies human rights atrocities throughout the world:
      "Along with other human rights organizations, The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq. Human Rights Watch reports that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis. Another 500,000 are estimated to have died in Saddam's needless
  • Is this the same "The Lancet" that's a journal for medical laboratory scientists, sort of like "Communications of the ACM" is a journal for computer scientists? Or is this some new "The Lancet" upstart that claims expertise in geopolitical arts?

    In other news, The Economist is running a story on whether Koch's postulates apply to modern illnesses.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:57AM (#10663618)
    I was going to make a +5 Funny post about how George W. Bush is keeping us safe, but the subject is just too horrible.

    The war on terror is not meant to be won, it's meant to be an excuse for any atrocity.

    How can anyone think this is justified? It's sick.
    • What dumbass modded this as funny?
      You should have your mod rights stripped.
    • You're right, casualties during a time of war is much worse than what Saddam did... I'm sure the Iraqis would much rather be threatened, beat, tortured, gassed, thrown out of tall buildings, have their children molested in front of them... blah blah blah...

      Was the war for the wrong reason? It appears so.. Was the war at the wrong time? Is there ever a more right time? Wrong President?... We'll see the wrong president for the next 4 years if you have your way.

      I can't believe what slashdot has done with
  • The story forgot to mention the other side. According to the Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq, 600,000 civilians were executed during Sadaam Hussein's regime.

    From The Age [66.102.7.104] (Google cache to skip registration): We have records of 600,000 executions and we estimate that 180,000 died in the uprising including the Marsh Arabs. The bombing of Halabja left 5000 dead," Mr al-Huoseyni said.

    Like the posting said, make sure you vote--just like the people in Iraq finally had a chance to.

    • by Leftist Troll (825839) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:07AM (#10663728)
      According to the Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq, 600,000 civilians were executed during Sadaam Hussein's regime.

      Two wrongs don't make a right. We shouldn't be in a position where we are comparing ourselves to Saddam Hussein.

    • Well, Saddam had quite many years to accomplish that.

    • Iraqs were able to vote with Saddam in power. Sorta. [bbc.co.uk]

      I wouldn't call having armed forces at the voting booths conducive to a fair election though. Of course, elections haven't been fair in America for quite some time [pfaw.org].

      I'm not saying removing Saddam from power is a bad thing, just that it might have been more efficient to support an armed uprising than to commit our troops to 5 years of combat.

    • Over how long a period? This 100,000 number, if true, was only over a year and a half.

      But what do numbers mean? We didn't go to war with Iraq because Saddam was killing his own people...hell, we're kinda cool with that really. Look at Stalin, Cambodia, North Korea....the only thing really thrown at them was harsh language and "you guys cut it out"...but we didn't do anything with the millions...yes, the number with the 7 digits in it...of people murdered. Even up to 1979 in the killing fields of Cambodia u
    • The story forgot to mention the other side. According to the Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq, 600,000 civilians were executed during Sadaam Hussein's regime.

      What is the "Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq"? Is it this [iraqcenter.com]? It doesn't look very scientific.

      Saddam was undoubtedly very keen on executions, but 600,000 seems like a huge over-estimate. Of course it depends on how you define an "execution" -- for example if you count the gassing of the Kurds with the chemical weapons the West sold
    • My, but everyone certainly has a lot to say...

      The purpose of my post was not to say the numbers are accurate or inaccurate, whether 100,000 dead was acceptable, or whether one action justifies another. That sort of thing cannot be discussed intelligently in a few sentences.

      The purpose of my post was to place the story in context and give additional facts not mentioned. An informed discussion needs all of the facts.
    • You're comparing George Bush to Saddam Hussein? Wow man, thanks for being upfront with your fascist tendencies. I mean, I think they're both evil, but I'm not really sure that saying "George Bush: not as evil as Saddam" is all that much of a platform.
      • What fascist tendencies? I stated a fact about how many people died under Saddam Hussein. I did not draw any conclusions from it. I did not say "George Bush: not as evil as Saddam". Since when does stating facts make a person a fascist?
    • by hey! (33014)
      It misses the point to say, "Well Sadaam killed 6x the number of people so this course of action was the lesser of two evils."

      I think a lot of Americans think it's impossible for an Iraqi to look on us as occupiers rather liberators, unless that Iraqi was somehow closely associated with the regime. Well, I think this number explains a lot. Remember, you can't use gross numbers -- it's always misleading. When you take apart the numbers, some interesting insights occur. Probably a disproporitionate nu
  • by slughead (592713) on Friday October 29, 2004 @10:58AM (#10663630) Homepage Journal
    The overall risk of death was 1.5 times more after the invasion than before.

    That also includes the invasion itself. At this rate, eventually it may go down.
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:02AM (#10663670) Homepage
    It would be nice to have a link to the real article, rather than an oversimplistic summary. This number is _extremely_ difficult to calculate. Some estimates say tens of thousands. Some say hundreds of thousands. With wild variations like that no one should believe any of these numbers at all. When they are within a factor of 2 then we have a reasonable range. But it will be 10 years before we really have a good idea. The same thing happened with WWI, WWII, Hiroshima, etc.
    For this report, the sample numbers were EXTREMELY EXTREMELY low: 988 housholds. The potential for error here is astounding.
    Confirmation was sought to ensure that a large fraction of the reported deaths were not fabrications...but only in two cases for each cluster of [30] houses.
    So they had confirmation of 6%.
    But the team believes that lying about deaths is unlikely
    That's silly. The death count is constantly overreported. Every article about military firefights ends with a quote from some official saying how the Americans attacked mostly women, children, and the elderly. It's the standard line and it gets old and less believable each time. I would really like to see statistics on who was killed and how the deaths occurred. Firefights with US troops? Bombings? Deaths during reconstruction? Who is called a "civilian?"
    • That's silly. The death count is constantly overreported. Every article about military firefights ends with a quote from some official saying how the Americans attacked mostly women, children, and the elderly

      Exactly! I read a story yesterday about this report and they actually said that the vast majority of the deaths were women and children. That is what tipped me off to conclude that the story was a load of crap. Does anyone honestly think that we would deliberatly attack women and children ONLY? I

    • > This number is _extremely_ difficult to calculate. Some estimates say tens of thousands. Some say hundreds of thousands.

      Yes, take it with a grain of salt until more information becomes available, especially since it is so different from the other estimates.

      > For this report, the sample numbers were EXTREMELY EXTREMELY low: 988 housholds. The potential for error here is astounding.

      That's not a particularly small sample size for the kinds of polls and surveys that we see all the time. You don't

    • Try this article [techcentralstation.com] for a way more comprehensive "meta-analysis" of the Lancet story than I could ever muster.

      Not knowing much about either source, I don't know their motivations (although "rushing" to release this days before the election is suspicious)... but I thought someone might want to read a coherent rebutal.

  • by scupper (687418) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:03AM (#10663684) Homepage
    AP is running a story on this which goes into a little more detail,

    Household Survey Sees 100,000 Iraqi Deaths [go.com]

    And there are some troblesome excerpts:
    • There is no official figure for the number of Iraqis killed since the conflict began
    • some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000.
    • concede that the data they based their projections on were of "limited precision,"
    • quality of the information depends on the accuracy of the household interviews used for the study
    • report was released just days before the U.S. presidential election, and the lead researcher said he wanted it that way.
    • possible that they may have zoned in on hotspots that might not be representative of the death toll across Iraq
    • more household clusters would have improved the precision of the report
    • and? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pentagram (40862) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:31AM (#10664006) Homepage
      None of your quotations are attacking any actual part of the method used in the study, they're just generalisations.

      There is no official figure for the number of
      Iraqis killed since the conflict began


      Well of course there's no fucking official figure. Who could possibly give an "official" figure? God?

      some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000.

      As time goes on, more people are killed, and it is possible to establish that more people have been killed.

      concede that the data they based their projections on were of "limited precision,"

      As opposed to most studies which are of infinite precision?

      quality of the information depends on the accuracy of the household interviews used for the study

      Well yes.

      report was released just days before the U.S. presidential election, and the lead researcher said he wanted it that way.

      And why not? Isn't this the most vital time that people hear this information?

      possible that they may have zoned in on hotspots that might not be representative of the death toll across Iraq

      However, this information could be biased in either direction. Some areas of Iraq were excluded because they were too dangerous for the investigators; weren't they likely to have suffered more deaths?

      more household clusters would have improved the precision of the report

      Well obviously. This is true for any study or poll ever published.
    • There is no official figure for the number of Iraqis killed since the conflict began

      We all know "official" figures are better, because officials making official statements have no agenda, and are only interested in facts.

      I'm not sure why you're interested in the "since the conflict began" part. I mean, that's the stated point - to measure things since the conflict began.

      some non-governmental estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000.

      Sure, and some faith-based visionaries will talk about the "opportu

    • by melquiades (314628) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:48PM (#10665059) Homepage
      I heard one of the authors interviewed on the radio yesterday. Some interesting points from him:
      • Even they were very surprised by the figures. They doubted the numbers, but in the end, trusted their own science enough to publish.
      • He emphasized that it's just an estimate, and we need more information.
      • One of the areas in their random sample happened to be Falujah. They ended up leaving it out of the estimate, because it would have given a much higher death toll.
      • They did actually ask a certain percentage for death certificates or other proof of death, in order to estimate how many people were lying, and took that into account.
  • Bull$hit (Score:4, Informative)

    by thedocdm (823359) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:07AM (#10663731)
    I'm calling BS on this article. They conducted a sampling survey to generate these numbers? Come on now. I'm more inclined to believe iraqbodycount.org and the media always gets it wrong (and never corrects themselves.) And to blame most of the deaths on the US bombing? Total horse $hit. Have innocent people died in Iraq? Hell yes. Have many of them been our fault? Yes. Have any of them been deliberate? No. Half of the innocent lives lost over here, by estimation and observation for the past eight months I've been in Baghdad (being a little involved in intelligence reports), come from the insurgents/terrorists. Their road-side bombs and car bombs as often target civilians and Iraqi security forces (the ones who take huge personal risk upon themselves and their families to try to make a difference in the future of their country) as they target Coalition Forces. This article is BS BS BS BS!
  • Robert Horton - "The research was completed under the most testing of circumstances - an ongoing war. And therefore certain limitations were inevitable and need to be acknowledged right away"

    Why would you publish a study that is by it's very nature inconclusive and impossible to verify? Why would you publish one in the week before a major election? I think you can answer these questions for yourselves.

    I have no doubts that many civilians have died. Every other night I see a report about a car bomb going o
  • The interviewers did ask for death certificates, but only in two cases for each cluster of houses.

    So the rest of the reported deaths were taken at face value?

    Horton acknowledges the potential for recall bias among those interviewed and also the relatively small sample size.

    Article also says the study is based on about 1000 households scattered across Iraq. That's out of 22.6 million in 2000.

    I think I could have done this study with three chimps, a dart board and some peanut butter and still come up wit

  • by Saganaga (167162) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:09AM (#10663755) Homepage
    ...is what would the cost in lives have been if the U.S. had done nothing? In the short term I'm guessing more lives have been lost because of the war, but in the long term, will it have been worth it?

    My guess is that history will prove that the war was worth it, not only for Iraqis but for the world as a whole.

    I'm interested in seeing the new movie "Voices of Iraq" that just came out. From the reviews [reuters.com] I've read, including one on NPR last night, it sounds like it provides evidence that the average ordinary Iraqi is grateful for what the U.S. has done (even though they want us to leave as soon as possible).

    • > My guess is that history will prove that the war was worth it, not only for Iraqis but for the world as a whole.

      It's far from a sure thing that their next government won't be another dictator or a radical theocracy. With the added advantage of knowing that once the US withdraws, they won't likely come back again.

      The history of Iraq's governments does not make me optimistic that they'll end up with a Utopia.

    • Ah, you mean by the long term Saddam would have finished all those WMD's he was making. The vast piles of which we found and...oh, wait a moment.

      If your guess is that history will prove that the war was worth it, what does that mean to the people that died in it for no reason? Let's say for a moment that the 100,000 civilian number is BS. Ok, I tend to agree with that based on how they conducted the research. Let's cut the number down to just 3 people. 3 Iraqi civilians. A man, a woman and a child.

      They're
      • The first question I'd have you think about, is whether or not you EVER think war is worth it. If you are a person who believes that war is NEVER justified, then I'm not going to be able to convince you that this war is worth it.

        If you do think that war is sometimes justified, then you have to consider what the possible benefits of this war are, and compare that to the cost that has been paid. Will the benefits outweigh the costs?

        I believe the benefits will outweigh the costs, and within 10-20 years we'
        • I'm a history fanantic. I crave it. I ooze it. So I do understand that wars in the past were a needed and justified evil to move forward. Many wars did move the timeline backwards, but over the long course of time, they've generally been an means to an end.

          But that's the past. I try to think that we live it somewhat enlightened times, (a nativity that I'm sure future historians would laugh at) in which war and military action are the absolute last resort. But this war in Iraq was not a last resort. We have

    • My guess is that history will prove that the war was worth it, not only for Iraqis but for the world as a whole.

      The US needs another ally in the middle east since Saudi Arabia and Israel are opposite sides of a political fence.

      Iraq is probably a pivot point in long-range geopolitical objectives in an unstable area of the world. Yes it also has oil.

      The "war to end all wars" didn't and led us into an even worse one. Everything since then was based on MAD. "Put your head between your legs and kiss you
  • "it does not matter if the war is not real. For when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, but it is meant to be continuous.'"

    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance, this new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. the war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Euras
  • Jesus (Score:4, Insightful)

    by (trb001) (224998) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:19AM (#10663848) Homepage
    Can I mod the article as -1:Troll? "Make sure you vote next week?" Let's skip all the rigamaroll...just post at the end of every politics article "And remember...we don't like Bush, we like Kerry!".

    I'm pissed when I get modded down for any of my pro-Bush comments, but this is just blatant bias in the text of an article. A little more objectivity wouldn't hurt here.

    --trb
    • Re:Jesus (Score:2, Insightful)

      by revscat (35618)

      I'm pissed when I get modded down for any of my pro-Bush comments, but this is just blatant bias in the text of an article. A little more objectivity wouldn't hurt here.

      And what about when objectivity comes down on the side of "Bush is an evil fuck", hmm? Going by how the Republicans whine, objectivity is about making sure the GOP comes out smelling like roses, even when the facts are against them.

      Screw that. George Bush is objectively evil. This war was a horrible idea, poorly executed, and has increas

  • Civilians (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:29AM (#10663971) Homepage Journal
    Terrorists are considered Civilians according to international reports. Insurgents are considered Civilians according to most international reports.

    So what % of those civilians are terrorists and insurgents?
  • The figure of 100,000 - estimated by extrapolating the surveyed households' death toll to the whole population

    Yeah, ok. Congrats on your screwy math.
  • I agree the civilian deaths due to the war were a bad thing (although I think our military worked very hard to keep these minimal), but the other option was continuing sanctions. Kerry even spoke out for using sanctions several times during the debates. Here's a quote from UNICEF's fact sheet on what sanctions were causing:

    "--Seven years after the imposition of the blockade on the people of Iraq, more than 1.2 million people, including 750,000 children below the age of five, have died because of the scar
  • I do not understand how the articles that are considered for posting are being filtered. I would like to know the number of "pro-Bush" versus "pro-Kerry" submissions are actually accepted. Not a single "pro-Bush" subject even shows up on the list yet I know that they are being submitted. Like this one GOP beats Dems on tech-friendliness [com.com].

    Given that Slashdot is such a techie heavy site you would think that something combining tech and politics would be appropriate yet articles like these never seem to be a
  • Yes! Vote!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Morphine007 (207082) on Friday October 29, 2004 @11:44AM (#10664183)

    So that there can be a policy change and instead of trying to fix Iraq (the right way... by actually allowing the people to govern themselves) just pull out and leave them at the mercy of the "freedom" fighters.... who, once in power, will probably be Saddam V2.0 .... like it or not, your government fucked things up in Iraq (don't get me wrong; they were incredibly fucked up to begin with...) but you went in with the promise of helping to fix things. The Afghanis hate you because you went in with the same promise (albeit slightly different in that you were requesting their help vs the Russians...) but left before you could fulfill your end of the bargain... and left the country at the mercy of the "freedom" fighters... who fucked up the country more than the Russians likely would have.

    I know I'll get modded into oblivion for this, but please, hear me out. We all know that Bush led everyone into that country under false pretenses, and now all those who backed out, including my country are basically saying "told you so." ... and for the record I am pissed that we did not go in with you; Don Cherry said it best: "If you go into a bar, and your buddy gets into a fight, it doesn't matter who started the fight, or who was right and who was wrong, you back your buddy up." none of this changes the fact, however, that Iraq is getting more and more fucked up as time goes on. Unless it gets fixed, it will come back to bite all of us in the ass.

    I'm not saying that you should vote for or against Bush (though personally I don't like him, or his policies.) What I am saying is that regardless of which person gets voted into office they need to know that you support efforts in Iraq.... just not the current style of efforts that are being deployed. I wish I had the link to the blog of one of Americas sons who is/was over there and laid it on the line (it was on /. not too long ago) .... tell your government to sit up and take fucking notice. It's too late to cry over whether or not the war was right, but not too late to tell your government that they need to clean up the mess, and that the current efforts are B/S....

    anyway... commence flaming/modding to oblivion...

  • Pre-war estimate (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dtfinch (661405) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:00PM (#10664416) Journal
    In planning the war, it was estimated that the civilian casualties would be only about 10,000 if the US invaded Iraq. This estimate went into the decision of whether or not we should go forward with the invasion.
  • Fuck em all (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bretharder (771353) <bret DOT harder AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:12PM (#10664587)
    Fuck Soddam, fuck Bush, fuck Kerry, fuck Osama.

    Why do these people have the power to start war?

    Joe American doesn't want a war.
    He wants to screw his girlfriend, work his job, and drink a few beers.
    We're all human; why the hell do we let these people make us kill each other?
  • by St. Arbirix (218306) <matthew.townsend ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:20PM (#10664702) Homepage Journal
    When both Presidential nominees, Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich, support the war what the hell is "make sure you vote next week" supposed to mean? If you're really against the war you'll be voting Nadar or Badnarik, but I'd be off my rocker to think that's what michael was implying by letting the article through.

    Article points:
    +100,000 flamebait (for every dead Iraqi by US)
    +1,000,000 overrated (for every dead Iraqi by Saddam)
    +5 insightful (for accidentally pointing out that the 3rd parties are the only ones against it all)
  • by CatGrep (707480) on Friday October 29, 2004 @12:39PM (#10664957)
    Or at least he led us to believe he was.
  • What is curious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bairy (755347) * on Friday October 29, 2004 @02:11PM (#10666239) Homepage
    What I find curious about this whole entire thing is the reason keeps changing

    Firstly it started off as WMDs, which are now proved to be complete crap

    Then it turned into Osama and Iraq were working together which has not only not been proved, but I believe it was made official this week that there was no link

    Then it turned suddenly to regieme change, yeah that's a good one lets throw out one dictator.. and put in one that's several thousand miles away

    The problem with the regieme change is there are loads of other countries that are far far worse than Iraq but we like to keep those quiet.

    It basically all comes down to the fact that whichever of the many reasons you choose to believe, this was an immoral and illegal war in the opinion of most people, and the US and UK governments think we're all so stupid that we'll just swallow whatever they say. And the sad thing is, a lot of us will.

    What's worrying is this: I've watched part of the debates, and I watched some of question time last night. People were heckling and jeering opinions that didn't match their own. No one in the USA (and this is the viewpoint of a fair few UK people) seems to ever listen. Everyone believes whatever they choose to beleive, usually on one-sided evidence and refuses to listen to the other side. Unfortunately, those people are then allowed to vote.

    I just hope that whatever does happen, someone keeps their brain in gear, because only when all the world leaders come up from their bunkers and see there is no one and nothing left to rule over, will they realise that nobody wins a war. Nobody.

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