Five U.S. troops died in weekend attacks, pushing the death toll past 100 in the deadliest month for American forces since December...
All but one of the latest U.S. deaths occurred in Baghdad, where a nearly 11-week security crackdown has put thousands of additional American soldiers on the streets — making them targets for both Shiite and Sunni extremists.
Consequences of the "surge." But the overall consequences of the Iraq war are even worse:
Terrorist attacks worldwide shot up 25 percent last year, particularly in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds, according to a new State Department report...
In its annual global survey of terrorism to be released Monday, the State Department says about 14,000 attacks took place in 2006, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. These strikes claimed more than 20,000 lives - two-thirds in Iraq. That is 3,000 more attacks than in 2005 and 5,800 more deaths.
Altogether, 40 percent more people were killed by increasingly lethal means around the globe.
The report partly attributes the higher casualty figures to a 25-percent jump in the number of nonvehicular suicide bombings targeting large crowds. That overwhelmed a 12-percent dip in suicide attacks involving vehicles.
In Iraq, the use of chemical weapons, seen for the first time in a November 23, 2006 attack in Sadr City, also "signaled a dangerous strategic shift in tactics," it says.
With the rise in fatalities, the number of injuries from terrorist attacks also rose, by 54 percent, between 2005 and 2006, with a doubling in the number wounded in Iraq over the period, according to the department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2006.
The numbers were compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center and refer to deaths and injuries sustained by "noncombatants," with significant increases in attacks targeting children, educators and journalists.