A series of bomb attacks killed over 200 Iraqi civilians yesterday. 300 more Iraqis were injured in the attacks:
"We are still digging with our hands and shovels because we can’t use cranes because many of the houses were built of clay," said the mayor. "We are expecting to reach the final death toll tomorrow or day after tomorrow as we are getting only pieces of bodies."
The hits keep coming for our sons and daughters too as another day also brings another wave of American deaths:
[T]he U.S. military reported the deaths of nine more U.S. troops, five of them in a helicopter crash.
The CH-47 Chinook copter went down near Al Taqaddum Air Base during a check flight after undergoing maintenance, the military said. The aircraft did not appear to come under hostile fire, the military said.
The U.S. military also said three U.S. soldiers died from injuries they suffered Monday when an explosion went off near their vehicle in Nineveh province in northern Iraq. And a U.S. soldier was killed Tuesday in western Baghdad, the military said.
The deaths bring to 3,692 the number of American military personnel who have died in the Iraq war. Seven Department of Defense contractors have also been killed. Forty-one U.S. troops have been killed so far in August.
And this from McClatchy:
BAGHDAD — Despite U.S. claims that violence is down in the Iraqi capital, U.S. military officers are offering a bleak picture of Iraq’s future, saying they’ve yet to see any signs of reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite Muslims despite the drop in violence.
Without reconciliation, the military officers say, any decline in violence will be temporary and bloodshed could return to previous levels as soon as the U.S. military cuts back its campaign against insurgent attacks. [...]
[W]hile top U.S. officials insist that 50 percent of the capital is now under effective U.S. or government control, compared with 8 percent in February, statistics indicate that the improvement in violence is at best mixed.
U.S. officials say the number of civilian casualties in the Iraqi capital is down 50 percent. But U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers, and statistics gathered by McClatchy Newspapers don't support the claim.
The number of car bombings in July actually was 5 percent higher than the number recorded last December, according to the McClatchy statistics, and the number of civilians killed in explosions is about the same.