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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Iraq violence: Monitoring the surge

An extra 30,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq, mainly in and around the capital Baghdad, since the launch of the security drive, or "surge", in February.

The BBC World Service is monitoring its effects, week by week, by looking at casualty figures, the pressure on hospitals and quality of life for ordinary civilians.

The graphics and analysis are based on figures from the US and Iraqi authorities, Baghdad's hospitals and three families from different neighbourhoods in the capital.


Graph showing numbers of dead and wounded in Iraq since the surge

The US is becoming resigned to the fight against insurgency possibly lasting a decade or more.

Its head of forces in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, told the BBC's John Simpson this week that the average counter-insurgency lasted nine or 10 years.

But he also suggested there was scope to reduce troop numbers as long as areas that the coalition had gained could be held by Iraqi forces.

The US says the surge is beginning to show signs of progress, with areas such as parts of Baquba now under American control.

However, Gen Petraeus says it could take until September to gauge its full effects.

During the seven-day period to 11 July there were some 575 violent deaths in the country - up by about 80 on the previous week.

Again, civilians bore the brunt of the violence with 377 deaths - topping last week's figure.

Military casualties, both American and Iraqi, were also up, as was the number of Iraqi police who were killed.

The BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent, Jonathan Marcus, says this reflects the dramatically increased level of US offensive operations.

However, the 51 reported deaths among insurgents were considerably lower than the previous week's 175.


Pie charts showing number of hours' electricity per day for three families

Fuel shortages remain a major problem for Iraqis, with long power cuts and fuel queues a common feature of civilian life, particularly in Baghdad.

The families helping paint a picture of these hardships in this survey are from different areas of the city - which can mean different pressures according to the religious make-up of the area and the subsequent security risks.

Map showing locations of families

Family 1 is located in Palestine Street, a Shia neighbourhood in the east of the capital.

Family 2 is located in Zayouna, a mixed neighbourhood in south-east Baghdad.

Family 3 lives in Saba Abkar, a northern Sunni neighbourhood.

None of the three families had more than two hours of electricity a day, with the Zayouna family's daily supply plunging from the relatively good four-to-six hours in recent weeks to just 20 minutes daily this past week.

One contributing factor may have been the kidnap and murder of one of the local generator engineers in an area supplying the north of the capital.

The black-market cost of fuel has also risen. At 27,000 Iraqi dinars (US $22) for 20 litres, it is now three times the forecourt price.

And day-long queues were reported at some petrol stations.

Gas cylinders are fetching 30,000 Iraqi dinars ($24.50) on the black market compared with a forecourt price of 4,000.

People in the Adhamiya district reported difficulties buying food after US forces reportedly blocked vehicles from entering.


Graph showing numbers of dead and wounded at two Baghdad hospitals

Mutilated bodies are still a familiar sight in Baghdad hospitals.

Al-Yarmouk reported eight beheaded bodies, all from one family, and another five from another.

Of the 38 people who had suffered violent deaths arriving at the hospital this week, 21 could not be identified. Some had been shot in the head; others hanged.

At al-Kindi, 23 victims killed in violence were reported - one more than the previous week.

At both hospitals, the numbers wounded in violent incidents were considerably down.

Data compiled by BBC producer Mona Mahmoud


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