By: E&P Staff
In recent days, the U.S. military and many in the media have suggested that number of civilian casualties in Iraq has decline in recent weeks, hailing this as a sign that the “surge” may finally be working. But this morning, in a front-page Washington Post report, Joshua Partlow reveals that “the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41 percent higher in June than in January, according to unofficial Health Ministry statistics.
“During the month of June, 453 unidentified corpses, some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture, were found in Baghdad, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
“In January, 321 corpses were discovered in the capital, a total that fell steadily until April but then rose sharply over the last two months, the statistics show.
“Overall, the level of violent civilian deaths in Iraq is declining, according to the U.S. military and Health Ministry statistics, and there has been a steady drop in fatalities from mass-casualty bombings that have torn through outdoor markets, university bus stops and crowds assembled to collect food rations.
“But the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets is considered a key indicator of the malignancy of sectarian strife. While the declining number of bombing victims suggests that efforts to control violence are showing some success, the daily slayings of individuals, in aggregate, speak to an enduring level of aggression.”
The full report is at www.washingtonpost.com.