Military: Level of violence drops to level not seen since 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The level of violence in Iraq has dropped within
the past week to a level not seen in four years, a military spokesman said
Iraqi Security Forces are in the lead in Basra, Mosul and Sadr City, said
Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, spokesman for Multi-National Forces – Iraq.
“Iraq-wide, we have seen a significant reduction of violence. In the past
week, security incidents decreased to levels we have not seen since March of
2004. These figures reflect a decrease in attacks of some 70 percent since the
surge operations began in June of 2007.”
Earlier Sunday, two separate blasts wounded at least 16 people in
Baghdad, the interior ministry said.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol went off near the Turkish
embassy in the Waziriya neighborhood in northern Baghdad Sunday morning, the
ministry official said. The blast wounded at least five people: two police
officers and three bystanders.
In the second attack, a bomb inside a parked car went off as a convoy for
Babil’s provincial governor drove by in western Baghdad Sunday afternoon, an
interior ministry official said. It was not not immediately known whether
Governor Salim al-Muslimawi was part of the convoy when the bomb went off. The
blast hurt 11 people, including seven members of the governor’s security
Driscoll also updated numbers from raids conducted in several Shiite
neighborhoods of Baghdad on Friday. More than 513 people of interest were
initially screened by Iraqi National Police, he said, and the Iraqi Army
detained 128 people. U.S. forces screened 385 people, he said, and 344 were
Multi-National Division – Baghdad troops took 40 people into custody, he
said. Five of those were wanted criminals, and the remaining 35 were detained
Several hundred Iraqi soldiers, with U.S. troops providing security,
conducted the raids in the al-Amal and Bayaa neighborhoods in southwest Baghdad
and the northwest Baghdad neighborhood of Rahmaniyat al-Shula, officials said.
— From CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq