The Iraq occupation has once again taken a violent turn. Dozens of Iraqis were killed on Tuesday as the average number of Iraqis killed or found dead each day continues to rise. Eight U.S. soldiers died on Monday, the most in one day since last September. U.S. military officials, however, have been anxious to downplay any talk of a trend.
Related: Read Eugene Robinson’s latest column on the streak of violence.
According to an Associated Press count, at the height of unrest from November 2006 to August 2007, on average approximately 65 Iraqis died each day as a result of violence. As conditions improved, the daily death toll steadily declined. It reached its lowest point in more than two years on January 2008, when on average 20 Iraqis died each day.
Those numbers have since jumped. In February, approximately 26 Iraqis died each day as a result of violence, and so far in March, that number is up to 39 daily. These figures reflect the months in which people were found, and not necessarily—in the case of mass graves—the months in which they were killed.
Military spokesman Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said Sunday that recent violence should not be taken as evidence of “an increase or a trend of an increase.”