|From The Sun Sential sun-sential.com
Iraqi Civilian Casualties Plunge In May
U.s. Military Toll Rises
By Tribune Newspapers|June 01, 2009
BAGHDAD — Iraqi casualties in May fell by more than half compared with the previous month and were at a record low for the years for which statistics are available, according to figures released Sunday.
The statistics suggested that insurgents have not been able to sustain the attacks they mounted in April.
The U.S. military toll, however, was at its highest level since September, with 24 deaths recorded. On Sunday, the military reported the accidental deaths of two U.S. soldiers, one in a vehicle accident and one in an injury not related to combat in Tikrit, in northern Iraq.
The U.S. count included the deaths of five soldiers gunned down at a combat-stress clinic on May 11. One of their comrades, Sgt. John M. Russell, has been charged in the shooting. Otherwise, U.S. casualties were in line with previous months.
According to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, 165 Iraqis died in violence in May, 134 of them civilians and 31 of them members of the Iraqi security forces. That's down from 355 deaths in April, 290 of them in bombings that mostly targeted civilians. The toll also was lower than the 187 deaths in January, the previous low for the year.
The independent website icasualties.org, which monitors casualties in Iraq based on news reports, gives a higher figure for May of 182 deaths, but that's still lower than the 187 the website recorded in January, which had been the lowest figure since it began counting Iraqi civilian deaths in March 2005.