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Iraq Corrects Fatality Figures for June

The Health Ministry has corrected its numbers about deaths in Baghdad:

The statistics provided by the Health Ministry official put the number of civilian fatalities in June across Baghdad and other provinces at 2,097, excluding the three that make up the northern Kurdish region, which is more peaceful. This number is 34 percent lower than the 3,190 civilian deaths the ministry recorded in January, but above a low point reached in April, when 1,664 civilians died, according to the official.

The figures were higher than those reported Sunday by Iraqi television stations and news services, citing Iraqi ministries, which said that in June, 1,227 civilians died violently in Iraq, a decrease of 36 percent compared with May, representing the lowest monthly total since the Baghdad security plan began. The statistics provided to The Post indicated that the decrease from May to June was 6 percent.

The right-wing blogosphere of course had seized upon the earlier report as evidence that the surge was "working". One wonders if they will move quickly to amend their stories with the correct numbers. Yeah right.

Meanwhile, the number of unidentified bodies dumped on the streets of Baghdad is on the rise. This is a sure indicator that the level of sectarian violence is increasing while the number of mass casualty car bombings has decreased.

Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, 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.

This is a clear sign that the Mahdi Army has adapted to the tactics of the surge and is back on the warpath slaughtering Iraqi Sunnis. The surge has effectively accomplished nothing other than a reduction of Al Qaeda's ability to stage large car bombings. The Iraqi government is in total disarray due to walkouts by the Sunnis and Sadrists and the inept Iraqi Parliament again failed to achieve a quorum.

It's time to pull the plug.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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