Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari called such high death totals "inaccurate and exaggerated," without mentioning the Post.Amid such confusion, what number is CBS reporting? I spoke to Charlie Kaye, executive producer for CBS News Radio, who said that CBS Radio is currently not reporting any "hard numbers" with their stories related to Iraq, but they did include the Post's 1,300 number in an earlier report, and attributed it to the Post. They reported the number "based on guidance from the [CBS] bureau in Baghdad" and based on the fact that the Post reporter obtained the information after visiting the morgue in person. CBSNews.com's current story on Iraq violence cites various outlets' counts, including the Washington Post's and the number cited by the Iraqi Cabinet (379 killed.)
In comparison, The New York Times reported Monday that the recent violence "brought the country to the brink of civil war and left at least 200 dead." Others had produced similar figures.
On Tuesday, the Times increased that number to "379 dead and 458 wounded, the nation's Council of Ministers said today. At least 246 people in Baghdad alone were killed, the top two city morgue officials said."
It's unclear why these numbers remain so much below those cited by The Washington Post. Iraqi officials on Tuesday challenged the Post's figures.
Kaye said he expects some "further clarification" from CBS' Baghdad bureau, which is currently looking into the number. Kaye emphasized that obtaining such information is particularly difficult, adding that Associated Press reporters attempted to gain access to the morgue today, but were denied.