Iraqi civilian deaths fall by 36% during June 2007
Iraqi civilian deaths fell to 1,241 last month, according to figures issued on Sunday, the lowest since a US-led crackdown was launched in February in Baghdad and other regions of the country. The latest figures, compiled from interior, defense and health ministry statistics, show that 1,241 civilians died last month, compared to 1,951 in the previous month, say a 36 percent drop.
It should be noted that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government no longer issues official casualty statistics and has refused to provide figures to UN human rights monitors, who can no longer confirm the reports. An officer at the Iraqi Interior Ministry's operations room disclosed 1,227 Iraqi civilians were killed in June, along with 190 policemen and 31 soldiers.
In the month of May there was a significant jump in casualties compared to April, but last month Iraqi civilian losses dropped significantly.
One of the key reasons for the fall in the June toll seems to be the reduction in sectarian killings in the capital since the crackdown was launched involving a surge of US troops. A U.S. military spokesman said the drop was encouraging but that it was too early to attribute it to the crackdown. "The synchronized effort only began two weeks ago. It's too early to declare a trend," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, according to the AP.
On Sunday two Iraqi policemen died and four people were wounded when a roadside bomb struck a patrol in Baghdad's central Zayuna neighbourhood, security officials said. A civilian was killed and three more were hurt when a car bomb went off in a commercial area of Baghdad's southwest Saidiyah neighbourhood.