Overall, the year of 2007 was the bloodiest year of the Iraq
war, according to the latest figures released by US and Iraq
During the year, at least 899 US troops died in Iraq, the
highest annual toll since the American-led invasion in March 2003,
according to Pentagon figures released by the independent website
The Iraqi Ministry of Health said 16,232 civilians died last
year, comparing to the 2006 death toll of 12,320.
However, last December has probably been the safest month for US
forces in Iraq since the 2003 invasion and the least deadly for
Iraqi civilians in the last 12 months.
On the military front, 21 US personnel died in Iraq during
December, making the average daily death tally last month the
lowest since the start of the war.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health said 481 civilians died nationwide
last month in war-related violence such as bombings, mortar attacks
and sectarian slayings, making it the least deadly month for Iraqi
civilians of 2007.
After considerably higher monthly death tolls earlier in 2007,
the number of fatalities among Iraqi civilians and US troops has
been decreasing since the American military completed a troop
buildup in June.
But few were celebrating the recent downturn in violence as
proof of irreversible progress.
US military and political officials are warning that recent
months' security gains have opened the door to new challenges, some
of which could spawn fresh violence as the Iraqis jostle to reclaim
(Xinhua News Agency January 2, 2008)