It appears that a much-heralded drop-off in the number of killings in Iraq last month didn’t actually happen. ABC News reports that the original reported figure of 550 has now been revised to 1,535—which is in line with the blood-drenched months of June (1,595) and July (1,855). No word yet on the reason behind the initial discrepancy.
We took an interesting phone call today from an official at the Baghdad morgue. We get these calls every day ? a daily tally of the violence. But this one was particularly sobering.
It turns out the official toll of violent deaths in August was just revised upwards to 1535 from 550, tripling the total. Now, we?re depressingly used to hearing about deaths here, so much so that the numbers can be numbing. But this means that a much-publicized drop-off in violence in August ? heralded by both the Iraqi government and the US military as a sign that a new security effort in Baghdad was working—apparently didn?t exist.