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US Wounded Rate Down Sharply

As of Wednesday, 24,764 U.S. soldiers had been injured in Iraq since the start of military operations to topple Saddam. Some 254 U.S. soldiers were injured during the 28 period from March 22 to April 18 at an average rate of just over nine per day. This marked a dramatic improvement on the previous 22-day period from Feb. 28 to March 21, when the wounded-per-day rate peaked to almost 23.2 per day. The new rate has therefore dropped by more than 60 percent on the Feb. 28-March 21 period.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) April 18, 2007
U.S. fatality rates in Iraq are stable, despite the challenges of establishing security in Baghdad. And the rate at which U.S. soldiers are being wounded has dramatically dropped.

As of Wednesday, 3,309 U.S. troops had been killed in Iraq since the start of military operations to topple Saddam Hussein on March 19, 2003. Of these, 2,691 were killed in action, according to official figures issued by the U.S. Department of Defense.

In all, 87 U.S. soldiers were killed in action in the 28-day period from March 22 to April 18 at an average rate of just over 3.1 per day. This was marginally higher than during the previous 22-day period from Feb. 28 to March 21, when 67 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just over three per day.

The rates at which U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad have therefore remained remarkably stable since the beginning of this year. Some 79 U.S. soldiers were killed in the 27-day period from Feb. 1 to Feb. 27 at an average rate of just over 2.93 per day. Those figures were almost identical to the previous 27-day period, when 78 U.S. troops were killed from Jan. 4 to Jan. 31 at an average rate of 2.81 per day.

These figures suggest that the insurgents are continuing to avoid bloody direct confrontations with U.S. forces as the two-month old "surge" strategy drive to secure Baghdad continues. They appear instead to be focusing on once again trying to inflict mass casualties on Shiite Muslim civilians in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, in order to try and discredit the "surge" strategy.

The relatively stable figures of the past three months show a slight improvement on the fatality rate of 3.4 killed per day during the 29-day period from Dec. 7 to Jan. 4, when 99 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. But the January and February figures were still more than 25 percent worse than the 16-day period from Nov. 21 to Dec. 6, when 35 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just over 2.2 per day.

The figures for the first three and a half months of 2007 also marked a very significant rise from the 14-day period from Nov. 7 to Nov. 20, when 32 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just below 2.3 per day. But they were better than the 22-day period from Oct. 16 to Nov. 6, when 371 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just below 3.23 per day.

During the 18-day period from Sept. 28 to Oct. 15, 56 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just over 3.1 per day. That rate was identical to the one we reported Oct. 1 in these columns for the nine days from Sept. 19 to Sept. 27, when 28 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of 3.1 per day. At that time, we noted that these figures were far higher than the rate during the previous 18-day period, when 33 U.S. soldiers were killed from Sept. 1 to Sept. 18, at an average rate of 1.77 per day. Those Sept. 19-Oct. 15 figures were almost identical to the average rate per day of the past 50 days.

The latest figures are also more than 33 percent worse than the fatality rate during the two-week period from Aug. 18 to Aug. 31, when 29 U.S. soldiers were killed at an average rate of just over two per day.

As of Wednesday, 24,764 U.S. soldiers had been injured in Iraq since the start of military operations to topple Saddam. Some 254 U.S. soldiers were injured during the 28 period from March 22 to April 18 at an average rate of just over nine per day. This marked a dramatic improvement on the previous 22-day period from Feb. 28 to March 21, when the wounded-per-day rate peaked to almost 23.2 per day. The new rate has therefore dropped by more than 60 percent on the Feb. 28-March 21 period.

That is one of the most striking improvements we have noted in the almost two years since these columns began. It is especially notable as it occurred during a period of time when up to 30,000 additional U.S. troops were being sent to Iraq as part of President George W. Bush's new "surge" strategy.

The rate also marked a more than 40-percent improvement on the 27-day period from Feb. 1 to Feb. 27, when 398 U.S. soldiers were injured at an average rate of 16.9 per day. And that figure was only marginally below the figures for the previous 27-day period from Jan. 4 to Jan. 31, when 465 U.S. soldiers were injured at an average rate of 17.2 per day.

From Oct. 16 to Nov. 6, 524 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq at an average rate of 23.81 per day. That rate of casualties suffered was virtually identical to the previous 18-day period from Sept. 28 to Oct. 15, when 427 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq at an average rate of 23.72 per day.

Source: United Press International

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Suicide Bomb Attacks Present Top Challenge In Iraq
Washington DC (AFNS) Apr 19, 2007
Suicide-bomb attacks on coalition and Iraqi troops and civilians, orchestrated by Al Qaeda and Sunni extremists, present the top challenge in establishing security and stability in Iraq, the commander of U.S. Central Command testified at a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill today.







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