View Full Version : Sectarian death toll doubles in 2007

08-27-2007, 09:30 AM
Iraq body count running at double pace - AP, 25 Aug.

BAGHDAD - This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.

Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings — the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press ...

The AP tracking includes Iraqi civilians, government officials, police and security forces killed in attacks such as gunfights and bombings, which are frequently blamed on Sunni suicide strikes. It also includes execution-style killings — largely the work of Shiite death squads.

The figures are considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual numbers are likely higher, as many killings go unreported or uncounted. Insurgent deaths are not a part of the Iraqi count.

The findings include:

• Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year — an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.

• Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.

• Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.

_According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.

However, Brig. Gen. Richard Sherlock, deputy director for operational planning for the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said violence in Iraq "has continued to decline and is at the lowest level since June 2006."

He offered no statistics to back his claim, but in a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon on Friday he warned insurgents might try intensify attacks in Iraq to coincide with three milestones: the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., the beginning of Ramadan and the report to Congress ...

09-03-2007, 08:50 AM
For some reason, couldn't post the original link to the above story. The story is here (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13950688).

Another story on sectarian killing and displacement in Baghdad:

Baghdad's New Owners (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20546328/site/newsweek/page/0/) - NEWSWEEK, Sep 10 issue.
Shiites now dominate the once mixed capital, and there is little chance of reversing the process.


Thousands of other Sunnis like Kamal have been cleared out of the western half of Baghdad, which they once dominated, in recent months. The surge of U.S. troops—meant in part to halt the sectarian cleansing of the Iraqi capital—has hardly stemmed the problem. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July was slightly higher than in February, when the surge began. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone. Rafiq Tschannen, chief of the Iraq mission for the International Organization for Migration, says that the fighting that accompanied the influx of U.S. troops actually "has increased the IDPs to some extent."

When Gen. David Petraeus goes before Congress next week to report on the progress of the surge, he may cite a decline in insurgent attacks in Baghdad as one marker of success. In fact, part of the reason behind the decline is how far the Shiite militias' cleansing of Baghdad has progressed: they've essentially won. "If you look at pre-February 2006, there were only a couple of areas in the city that were unambiguously Shia," says a U.S. official in Baghdad who is familiar with the issue but is not authorized to speak on the record. "That's definitely not the case anymore." The official says that "the majority, more than half" of Baghdad's neighborhoods are now Shiite-dominated, a judgment echoed in the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq: "And very few are mixed." In places like Amel, pockets of Sunnis live in fear, surrounded by a sea of Shiites. In most of the remaining Sunni neighborhoods, residents are trapped behind great concrete barricades for their own protection ...

09-06-2007, 08:34 AM
Experts doubt drop in violence in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/05/AR2007090502466_pf.html)- Washington Post, 6 Sep.

The U.S. military (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Armed+Forces?tid=informline)'s claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/countries/iraq.html?nav=el) in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.

Reductions in violence form the centerpiece of the Bush administration's claim that its war strategy is working. In congressional testimony Monday, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/David+Petraeus?tid=informline), the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to cite a 75 percent decrease in sectarian attacks. According to senior U.S. military officials in Baghdad (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Baghdad?tid=informline), overall attacks in Iraq were down to 960 a week in August, compared with 1,700 a week in June, and civilian casualties had fallen 17 percent between December 2006 and last month. Unofficial Iraqi figures show a similar decrease.

Others who have looked at the full range of U.S. government statistics on violence, however, accuse the military of cherry-picking positive indicators and caution that the numbers -- most of which are classified -- are often confusing and contradictory. "Let's just say that there are several different sources within the administration on violence, and those sources do not agree," Comptroller General David Walker (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/David+Walker?tid=informline) told Congress on Tuesday in releasing a new Government Accountability Office (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Government+Accountability+Office?tid=informli ne) report on Iraq ...

10-01-2007, 09:25 PM
Insurgent ‘Body Count’ Records Released (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=49180) - by Joseph Giordono and Lisa Burgess, Stars and Stripes.

American and coalition troops have reported killing and capturing more suspected insurgents in the first half of 2007 than in any other similar period of the Iraq war, while military officials said so-called “body count” reports are meant to give “scale” to the fight.

Last week, USA Today reported that since June 2003, the U.S. military in Iraq has kept a count of insurgents killed, injured and detained. Those figures were later released by the military to Stars and Stripes.

Through August 2007, those figures show, 18,832 suspected insurgents had been reported killed, 5,196 injured and 119,752 arrested by U.S. and coalition forces.

In 2007, the figures show, coalition troops arrested an average of around 100 suspected insurgents each day. Military officials have said both the increased casualty and capture figures are attributed in part to the “surge” and more aggressive tactics by units throughout the country.

The figures are compiled from “significant action” reports received from the field, said Capt. Michael Greenberger, who released the statistics to Stars and Stripes...

10-01-2007, 10:32 PM
Military officials have said both the increased casualty and capture figures are attributed in part to the “surge”

I wonder how much is attributed to "help from the locals."