Monday, July 09, 2007

Report: Attacks tripled in last year on supply convoys

Left: Marines with 2nd Tank Battalion prepare to depart on a nightly mission to patrol one of the main supply routes and clear the road of IEDs in Anbar province in June.

BAGHDAD — Attacks on supply convoys protected by private security companies in Iraq have more than tripled as the U.S. government depends more on armed civilian guards to secure reconstruction and other missions.

There were 869 such attacks from the beginning of June 2006 to the end of May this year. For the preceding 12 months, there were 281 attacks.

Deaths and injuries increased to 206 from 157 during that same time, according to the Army Corps of Engineers' Logistics Movement Control Center. Most of those convoys carry U.S.-funded reconstruction supplies for the Iraqi government.