The numbers reported by the United Nations were more than tenfold the number of American deaths for the entire war. As previous attempts to secure Baghdad have failed, tens of thousands of middle-class Iraqis have given up and fled the country. Those who remain are becoming increasingly radicalized as the violence draws them into a cycle of revenge.
The United Nations report said an average of 94 Iraqis died every day in 2006, with about half the deaths occurring in the capital. The majority died from gunshot wounds, in execution-style killings that are a common method for death squads, both Sunni and Shiite. The report registered the most lethal month as October, with deaths declining slightly in November and December.
US commander wants more troops against Taliban surge
KABUL (AFP) - The senior US commander in Afghanistan pressed for more troops to confront a major surge in Taliban attacks, notably out of Pakistan, as he briefed visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
...one reason the Taliban has been able to mount its biggest offensive since their ouster in December 2001 is that they have been able to establish a command structure inside both Pakistan and AFghanistan ... a military official said Taliban leader Mullah Omar was believed to be operating from the Pakistani city of Quetta.