First Published: 2009-12-01

 
Iraq November death toll lowest since US invasion
 

Official data shows total of 122 people killed last month, comprising 88 civilians, 22 policemen, 12 soldiers.

 

Middle East Online

By Prashant Rao - BAGHDAD

Is security finally improving in Iraq?



November saw the lowest number of violent deaths in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, official figures showed Tuesday, despite grim predictions of a rise in violence ahead of elections next year.

Official data compiled by the ministries of defence, interior and health showed that a total of 122 people were killed last month, comprising 88 civilians, 22 policemen and 12 soldiers.

The figures are markedly lower than those for October, when violence killed a total of 410 people across Iraq, most notably in twin suicide vehicle bombings near government offices in Baghdad left more than 150 people dead.

In addition to those who died in attacks in November, 332 civilians were wounded along with 56 policemen and 44 soldiers. Thirty-eight insurgents were killed and 510 arrested, according to the ministries.

The previous lowest monthly death toll was in May, when 155 people were killed, including 124 civilians.

The latest figures come despite warnings from senior Iraqi and US officials of a possible upswing in violence in the lead-up to parliamentary elections due early next year.

General Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, warned last month of politically-motivated violence in a bid to undermine the government and security forces in the run-up to the polls, whose date has yet to be finalised.

"We believe that there will be an attempt to conduct more attacks between now and the election," he said.

His remarks echoed those of Iraq's army chief Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan Majeed and of the deputy commanding general for US operations in Iraq, Major General John D. Johnson, made in October.

Though the election was originally slated for January 16, deeply divided lawmakers have yet to pass a law that would govern the polls and parliament speaker Iyad al-Samarrai said he now expected them to be held in March.

As in October, a total of two US soldiers died in combat in Iraq in November -- the lowest monthly toll since the 2003 invasion.

A total of 4,367 American soldiers have died in Iraq since the invasion, according to figures compiled by the independent website icasualties.org.

Currently around 115,000 US troops are stationed in Iraq, although that figure is set to drop to 50,000 by the end of August next year ahead of a complete withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011 as required by a US-Iraq security agreement signed last year.

The latest monthly compilation is in stark contrast to the rampant sectarian bloodshed that engulfed Iraq in 2006 and 2007 -- more than 2,000 people were killed in January 2007 alone, according to the government's figures.

At least 94,000 Iraqis have been killed since the 2003 invasion, according to the British non-governmental website iraqbodycount.org.

 

Warring Syrians set for first face-to-face at Astana

Turkey moves closer to expanding Erdogan powers

IS demolishes more monuments in recaptured Palmyra

Bodies of firemen recovered from Tehran tower

Police, ruling party hit by attacks in Istanbul

Bomb kills 4 in refugee camp near Syrian border with Jordan

Egypt says political solution 'only way' for Libya ahead of talks

Turkey concedes including Assad in Syria talks

Netanyahu congratulates ‘friend’ Trump in tweet

Israel denounces Belgian plan to interrogate ex-minister

Denmark grants soldiers permission to fight IS in Syria

Car bomb near Benghazi mosque wounds 12

UN calls IS destruction of Palmyra relics ‘war crime’

Armed settlers rescued from angry Palestinian villagers

Petition filed for Israeli court to return body of Bedouin

29 Yemen rebels killed by Saudi-led air strikes

Iran losing hope of saving trapped firefighters

Algeria’s Islamist parties unite ahead of April elections

British worker dies on Qatar 2022 World Cup site

Search continues for trapped Iran firefighters

More than 40 jihadists killed in north Syria air strikes

Trump to be sworn in as 45th US president

Trump to retain envoy to anti-IS coalition

More than 20 firefighters feared dead in Tehran building collapse

Explosions in Gaza target Fatah member

UN expert tells Saudi to end ban on women driving

Desalination plant opens in Gaza to tackle water crisis

Syria’s Assad hopes rebels disarm after Astana talks

UN says 400,000 Syrian child refugees in Turkey not in school

Libya PM skips Davos to focus on electricity crisis

Greece, Cyprus insist peace deal must include Turkish withdrawal

Mistura to lead UN delegation at Astana Syria talks

Turkey slams French satire song about Istanbul attack

Saudi minister says kingdom to become ‘softer’ after reforms

Bahrain lifts ban on electronic Al-Wasat newspaper

Arab Israelis strike in protest over house demolitions

Iran sees Syria talks as opportunity to gain influence

Kuwait upholds sentence for three royals for insulting judges

Tunisia facing mounting calls against jail-for-joint law

Iran's oldest high-rise building on fire collapses

IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

Bahrain police disperse Shiite protesters

Key Syria rebel group opts out of Astana peace talks

Moroccan Sufi ‘living master’ dies at 95

France says Iraqi jihadist among 2015 stadium bombers