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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 08:54 GMT 09:54 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.



During the seven days from 9-15 August 540 people were killed in violent incidents across Iraq.

The number of civilian deaths rose by nearly a hundred on last week's total, up from 343 to 434. This represents the second highest number of civilian casualties recorded since this series monitoring the Iraq surge began.

The death toll of over 250 is still rising from Tuesday's bombing of two Yazidi villages near Mosul. The attack is one of the worst in more than four years of war in Iraq.

Deaths of Iraqi police and soldiers also rose this week, while the number of US soldiers killed fell slightly.


Family 3 had power early in the week, but this was cut after the recent curfew ended

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.

This week families 1 and 2 have had a slightly improved electricity supply, when compared with last week. Family 1's electricity was working approximately an hour a day, four times as much as during the previous week, while Family 2 had power for 30 minutes a day this week, compared with none during the last week.

Family 3 had power during the three-day curfew, but once that ended their power was cut.

Queues for fuel have shown no signs of easing, with reports of people starting to queue as early as 4am, before finally receiving some fuel at 5pm. The price at petrol stations is 10,000 Iraqi dinars. The price is twice as high on the black market.

Gas cylinders are 7,500 Iraqi dinars, up from 4,000. The black market price is 30,000 Iraqi dinars.



At the al-Kindi hospital the number of deaths from violence remained the same as last week, with the number of wounded dropping slightly.

The decrease in the number of casualties received by the hospital was partly down to the curfew put in place to protect Shia pilgrims to the Kadhimiya shrine.

Doctors at the al-Kindi hospital held a one day protest over the lack of security and electricity shortages at the hospital.

One doctor was beaten and threatened by the relatives of a female patient after they were unable to save her life due to the shortages of medical staff.

The number of police protecting the hospital has fallen, from 12 to five officers.

Eleven consultants were on duty this week, with six doctors working in the emergency unit.

At the al-Yarmouk hospital casualties ranged from people killed in a US strike in Shuala, to six people shot in the head, as well as 29 unidentified bodies, including three women and two children.

An improvised explosive device was found in the car of the hospital's director general, but was defused.

Data compiled by BBC producer Mona Mahmoud


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