More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far in the Iraqi conflict, The Independent on Sunday has learnt, making the continuing conflict the most deadly war for non-combatants waged by the West since the Vietnam war more than 30 years ago.

The number, 10,000, comes from the work of the website Iraq Body Count, which deliberately errs on the side of caution — only counting deaths reported in at least two media outlets.

Counting civilian causalities was a hotly contested issue before the war, when wildly variant numbers were being thrown out in regards to the impact of sanctions. As part of a brilliant (what else?) post from Jeanne at Body and Soul on the topic of Morality and Foreign Policy,” she points out that the author of one of the more conservative estimates has recently upped his numbers.

Pollack prefers to cite Richard Garfield, who initially estimated 100-200,000 deaths of children, probably closer to the latter. Garfield has since increased that estimate. Children are not the only ones to have died, either, though presumably they form the bulk of the victims.