Bombings, sectarian slayings and other violence related to the war killed at least 1,773 Iraqi civilians in August, the second month in a row that civilian deaths have risen, according to government figures obtained Friday.And also in the Los Angeles Times:
In July, the civilian death toll was 1,753, and in June it was 1,227. The numbers are based on morgue, hospital and police records and come from officials in the ministries of Health, Defense and the Interior. The statistics appear to indicate that President Bush's increase in troops this year has done little to rein in civilian bloodshed, despite U.S. military statements to the contrary.
Military officials have said the security plan is showing progress because the number of attacks on civilians has decreased and sectarian killings have dropped. The security plan, which began in February, has put an additional 28,500 U.S. troops in Baghdad and other trouble spots.
A cholera outbreak in northern Iraq, where thousands of people have sought refuge from sectarian violence, is overwhelming hospitals and has killed up to 10 people, health officials said Friday.
The cities of Sulaymaniya and Kirkuk have been affected by the outbreak, which is seen as the latest example of the deterioration of living conditions and displacement caused by the ongoing conflict. At least 1,773 Iraqi civilians died in war-related violence in August, according to Iraqi government statistics released Friday, the third consecutive month in which civilian deaths rose despite the recent American troop build up.
Cholera, a potentially lethal waterborne disease, has struck more than 80 people in the two cities, which are about 100 miles apart, said Claire Hajaj of UNICEF . She said five deaths had been confirmed as cholera and another five deaths were suspected cholera cases.
Earlier this year, aid agencies warned of the potential for a cholera outbreak as Iraq, its infrastructure shattered by war and neglect, entered the blazing summer months. Cholera tends to appear in the summer because of the heightened need for water. With water treatment plants in disrepair because of age and war-related damage, and often unable to function because of power shortages, the likelihood of exposure to contaminated water increases.