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Saturday, April 29, 2006

100,000 Families Are Fleeing Violence, Iraq Official Says

Published: April 30, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 29 — A new estimate by one of Iraq's vice presidents has put the number of Iraqi families fleeing sectarian violence at 100,000, far outstripping previous projections and raising the possibility that a total of a half-million people could be displaced.

The estimate, made Friday by Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite leader selected as one of two vice presidents, is much higher than other recent estimates. For example, the national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, said in an interview last week that 13,750 families had been displaced, which could mean about 70,000 people.

Yet both statements go far beyond estimates by American military leaders, who have said there is no "widespread movement" of Iraqis fleeing from sectarian fighting. >>>cont

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