The death tolls among US soldiers and Iraqi civilians both fell significantly in September, hitting their lowest levels since the summer of 2006. Civilian deaths dropped 50% to 988, compared to 1,975 in August. The American death toll in September was 64, the fewest casualties since July 2006, the AP reports.
The numbers reflect US success in curbing violence in and around Baghdad, but the AP cautions that it considers all figures minimum estimates, and many deaths are not accounted for. September included the first half of Ramadan, Reuters adds, and saw reduced casualties even though Al-Qaeda had threatened violence. Military commanders voiced concern over future “spectacular” one-off attacks.