Monday, July 02, 2007

5 US service members killed in Iraq

Today, the US military announced: " A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier was killed in a small arms fire attack that followed an improvised explosive device strike targeting a joint combat patrol in a western section of the Iraqi capital July 1. Two Iraqi National Police officers were also wounded in the attack." And they announced: "One Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldier was killed when a combat patrol was targeted with small arms fire in a southern section of the Iraqi capital July 1." And they announced: "Two Soldiers and one Marine assigned to Multi National Force-West were killed July 1 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province." 3580 is the current total at ICCC and when the three additional deaths announced are noted (probably in a matter of minutes) it will rise to 3583 with 5 for the month of July thus far. Of the five killed, please note, three died in Al Anbar. Remember al Anbar? The "success" a few weeks back? The 'model' to be carried elsewhere? It was nonsense when they were pushing that and it's nonsense this morning.

Along with that violence yesterday, another bridge bombing took place. Martha notes this from Joshua Partlow's "Truck Bombing Damages Bridge in Western Iraq" (Washington Post):

A dump truck laden with explosives detonated on a bridge over the Euphrates River on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks targeting Iraq's bridge network.
The 3 p.m. suicide bombing damaged a large section of the bridge, which is along the main road north of Ramadi in the western province of Anbar. Two civilians were injured and evacuated to a hospital, according to U.S. military officials.

Since April, when bombers destroyed a large portion of Baghdad's historic Sarafiya bridge over the Tigris River, attackers have systematically taken out bridges in and around the capital, clogging traffic and isolating neighborhoods. In early June, insurgents damaged the Sarha bridge, about 100 miles from Baghdad on a main route to northern Iraq.

In the New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin does the sole Iraq report. In "Iraqi Civilian Casualties Declined in June, Officials Say" she notes that the count for Baghdad deaths in June, from bombings and gunsfire, is 730. On numbers, from her article:

However, the size of the decline was hard to gauge because death counts in Iraq are highly inaccurate. Some bombing victims' bodies are never recovered, families often collect their dead before they can be counted by officials, and the dead bodies found around Baghdad, while generally taken to the city morgue, are sometimes taken to hospitals where they may not be counted.

We'll also note the following from her article:

Iraqi officials estimated that civilian deaths nationwide had dropped 36 percent in June, down to about 1,200. Civilian casualties in May had topped 1,900, they said. The Web site, which tabulates news reports of civilian deaths, put the number of deaths in June at about 1,342, down from 1,980 in May.

Rubin's correct, ICCC has started keeping track of reported civilian deaths. I wasn't aware of that. We'll try to note that from time to time (this is a monthly count that's started post the Lancet study).

Also noting the month of June numbers, and cautioning about them and the way figures are kept, is Molly Hennessy-Fiske in "Iraqi civilian toll hits low for year" (Los Angeles Times):

The figures released by the Iraqi ministries of health, defense and interior showed 1,227 Iraqi civilians killed in June, compared with 1,949 in May and 1,646 in February, when the first of 28,500 added U.S. troops arrived.
More Iraqi security force members were killed in June — 221 compared with 174 in May. But the number of militants killed also increased, according to the government, to 416 in June from 297 in May. In the last three months, 331 U.S. troops have died, the deadliest quarter for U.S. forces in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003, according to, which tracks military casualties. Two soldiers were killed Sunday in separate attacks in Baghdad, the U.S. military said today. A total of 3,580 U.S. troops have died since the 2003 invasion, according to the website.

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