New ‘Surge’ in Iraqi Deaths in February

By: E&P Staff

The number of Iraqis killed in February rose by 33 percent over January, reversing a six-month trend of reduced violence, in a setback to the U.S. military plan to curb the bloodshed ravaging the country, Agence France Press reports.

The combined figures obtained by AFP from the interior, defence and health ministries showed that the total number of Iraqis killed in February was 721, including 636 civilians, compared with 541 dead in January.

The Associated Press count was very similar. AP emphasized that this was considered a “minimum” number with the toll likely higher.

“It reverses the six-month trend of a steady fall in casualties across the country on the back of a massive US and Iraqi military assault, mainly targeting Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” AFP observes. “The February death toll is up after a steady fall in the preceding six months. The monthly tolls were 541 in January, 568 in December, 606 in November, 887 in October, 917 in September and 1,856 in August.”
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