Iraq death toll doubles in October: officials

BAGHDAD, Nov 2, 2009 (AFP) - Violent deaths in Iraq more than doubled in October compared to the previous month, official figures showed on Monday, with 410 people killed across the country.

The death toll was largely higher because of twin suicide vehicle bombings in Baghdad on October 25 that killed more than 150 people, in the deadliest day of violence that Iraq has suffered in more than two years.

(FILES)A US soldier from the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry, picks up bomb fragments and shrapnel after an Improvised Explosive Devise planted by rebels exploded in the city of Mosul, 18 April 2005 (AFP photo)

Statistics compiled by the defence, interior and health ministries showed that 343 civilians, 42 police and 25 soldiers were killed last month, with only the military figure falling from September.

The figures were markedly higher than the previous month, which saw a total of 203 people die as a result of violence, the lowest death toll since May, offering cautious optimism that security was improving in Iraq.

The October figures were, however, lower than the overall death toll in August, when 456 people died as a result of violence.

There were also 1,275 civilians, 135 police and 90 soldiers wounded in October, according to the latest data. Thirty-eight insurgents were killed and 585 arrested.

The October 25 attacks against government buildings at busy intersections in central Baghdad themselves left more than 500 people wounded, and caused more than 16 million dollars in damages.

In addition, eight American soldiers died in Iraq last month, bringing to 4,355 the total number who have died since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.org.

Source: AFP

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