A five-year official study of the Allied bombing of Dresden in World War II has concluded that as many as 25,000 people died, far fewer than most historians have estimated, the BBC reports. The study by The Dresden Historians’ Commission was aimed at ending a heated debate on the casualty figure from the raid on the German city by British and American warplanes Feb. 13-15, 1945. Far-right groups in Germany have claimed that the attack and ensuing firestorm killed up to 500,000 people and constituted a war crime. The Telegraph in Britain says the bombing has long been a cause of tensions between the two countries and noted that protesters demanding an apology threw eggs at Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the city in 1992. The commission used records from city archives, cemeteries and other official registries as well as eyewitness and published reports, the BBC says.

(article available at: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/03/official-german-study-concludes-25000-died-in-allied-bombing-of-dresden/1)