Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Report: More U.S. troops died in Iraq in past four months than any similar period

WASHINGTON: More U.S. troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months — at least 334 through Jan. 31 — than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.

Not since the bloody battle for Fallujah in 2004 has the death toll spiked so high.

The reason is that U.S. soldiers and Marines are fighting more battles in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and other cities. And while hostile forces are using a variety of weapons, the top killer is the roadside bomb.

In some respects it is the urban warfare that U.S. commanders thought they had managed largely to avoid after U.S. troops entered Baghdad in early April 2003 and quickly brought down President Saddam Hussein's government.

And with President George W. Bush now sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, despite opposition in the U.S. Congress and the American public's increasing war weariness, the prospect looms of even higher casualties.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune