Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Violence in Iraq down sharply

Violence in Iraq down sharply Published: Dec. 22, 2008 BAGHDAD, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The level of violence has dropped dramatically in Iraq in recent days from year-ago levels, a U.S. military official in the war-torn country says. Army Brig. Gen. David G. Perkins, a spokesman for the multinational force in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad Sunday that over the past week there had been an average of 10 attacks each day. That, he said, was a 95 percent drop from the 180 attacks per day being experienced last year, American Forces Press Service reported Monday. "This is a dramatic improvement of safety throughout the country," Perkins said. The general also said Iraq's murder rate has dropped below levels that existed before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. In November, the ratio was 0.9 per 100,000 people. Perkins said the recent passage of legislation regulating the presence of U.S. military forces in Iraq and outlining their withdrawal has helped calm the country.

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