Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Analysis: A grim picture

In a funeral procession in Najaf today, a man grieves for his 13 year-old brother who was killed by unknown gunmen in Kufa.

BAGHDAD -- Academics are being assassinated, prisoners are being tortured, women are being murdered by their own families in so-called "honor killings," and civilians continue to be cut down by rampant violence, the United Nations said today in a report painting a grim picture of life in Iraq.

The report, which covers from Jan. 1, 2007 through March 31, was most notable for what it did not include: the number of civilian deaths.

That's because the Iraqi government refused to release those numbers, the U.N. spokesman, Said Arikat, said as he presented the organization's 10th such summary of the human rights situation in Iraq.

However, numbers obtained from various ministries by the Times indicated that already this year, 5,509 civilians had died violently in Baghdad province alone, which includes the capital.

Read the rest at the LA Times