All of the Lebanon body count figures come from a range of sources. But how do we know who is a civilian or Hizbollah fighter?
The figures come from international observers – Human Rights Watch, the Red Cross, the UN, as well as hospitals, doctors in the field, journalists and the government.
Hizbollah rarely supply casualty figures. So how do we know the number of civilian vs Hizbollah deaths.
When journalists and investigators find a body they have to decide whether a dead person is a fighter or a civilian. Sometimes that’s easy – a woman with suitcases and three kids in a car driving away from the troubled area are almost certainly civilian deaths.
Hizbollah have said they are not scared of admitting the number of fighters killed – in fact it suits them to inflate the proportion of fighters killed, to show it’s them . At the start of the attacks, nearly every person killed was a civilian – now, the proportion of fighters has gone up.
Thanks to Amwreck for his useful question, and for everyone who’s been participating in the lively comments section. I think ‘lively’ is the polite way of describing it.