At least four Iraqis were killed and four others were wounded in light violence. Because of Eid al-Fitr celebrations, reports are scant this week. U.S. troops, meanwhile, reported no deaths during the month of August.
While August closed as the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iraq marked its first month without any U.S. fatalities. That figure takes into account both combat and non-combat deaths. Last December was the first month that U.S. troops suffered no combat deaths since the start of the war, but three soldiers died from other causes.
Only two months ago, however, U.S. officials were blaming Iran for a sharp increase in deaths, a claim that Iran denied then and again today. The toll decreased just as dramatically a month later, forcing officials to claim that talks with Iran had resulted in the decrease. Then officials backpedaled and blamed Iran again. Almost 50,000 servicemembers remain in Iraq a year after the withdrawal of combat troops. With five months left in the year, 2011’s final count could easily match last year’s total despite a fatality-free August.
An I.E.D. killed two civilians in Falluja.
In Baghdad, a soldier was killed and two others were wounded when they tried to dismantle a bomb in Hor Rajab.
A bomb killed one soldier and wounded two others in Duluiya.
In Ninewa province, 21 inmates were immediately recaptured after a jailbreak that involved 35 detainees.
A source in Babel province warned that 45 taxi drivers have gone missing in recent months.
In Istanbul, Turkey, a pro-Kurdish peace rally turned violent when participants balked at going through security checkpoints.