The government says 164 people died last month -- barely half July's death toll of 325
An Iraqi policeman stands guard at a checkpoint in central Baghdad. The Iraqi government has claimed that the number of people killed in attacks nearly halved in August compared to the previous month, but AFP figures indicated violence remained largely unchanged. © Ahmad al-Rubaye - AFP/File
The government says 164 people died last month --  barely half July's death toll of 325
AFP
Last updated: September 1, 2012

Iraq claims drop in deadly attacks

The Iraqi government claimed on Saturday that the number of people killed in attacks nearly halved in August compared to the previous month, but AFP figures indicated violence remained largely unchanged.

According to figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defence, 164 people died last month -- 90 civilians, 35 police and 39 soldiers -- which is barely half July's death toll of 325.

Government data said 260 people were wounded -- 120 civilians, 80 police and 60 soldiers. It also showed that 26 insurgents were killed and 90 arrested.

The figures clashed with AFP tallies based on reports from security and medical officials that showed 278 people were killed in attacks in August, including 61 policemen and 38 soldiers, and 590 people wounded, among them 82 police and 52 soldiers.

According to the AFP tally, the death toll nationwide has been almost unchanged in the past three months -- 282 people were killed in June, 278 in July.

Figures released by Iraq's government are typically lower than those cited by security and hospital officials, although in July the official figures were higher than those given by other sources.

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