The higher toll includes deaths from drowning, traffic accidents and “non-hostile” gunshot wounds, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count Web site.

If the larger figure is to be believed, the total number of US troops who have met their deaths on Iraqi soil since the start of the war on Iraq stands at 224.

The number of dead is 50 percent higher than in the Gulf War of 1991.

The Web site uses as its source a combination of official Pentagon and CENTCOM press releases, reports from the Army Times and CNN casualty figures.

Suicides

Some 70 percent of deaths since the end of major fighting in the Middle Eastern country on May 2 have been of soldiers aged between 18-30 years, though a number of 40-50 year olds have also perished. 

Some have died of “natural causes” according to official statements, while others in “vehicle accidents.”

As many as five possible suicides have been reported by commanders in the field. One soldier, listed as unkown, died on 13 July after a “non-hostile gunshot incident,” the site said.