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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Iraq violent death rates 'plunge'
Iraqi woman collects belongings from her house after 27 Sept car bomb attack in Baghdad
Figures show reduction of violence, but it is unclear how long it will last
The number of Iraqi civilians killed per month in bombings and shootings has fallen to the lowest level this year, the Iraqi government says.

In September, 884 civilians were killed by violence, less than half the figure for August, the government said.

The BBC's Jon Brain in Baghdad says the figures suggest the so-called surge involving 30,000 extra US troops is having some success.

September also saw the lowest number of US troops killed for more than a year.

884 civilian deaths
78 Iraqi soldiers and police killed
62 US military deaths
Source: Iraqi government

There were 62 US military fatalities - the fewest in a single month since July 2006.

The troop surge and accompanying security crackdown is designed to give Iraq's politicians breathing space to achieve reconciliation between the country's rival factions.

However, our correspondent says, the political situation remains deadlocked and there are fears that when the extra troops are withdrawn the violence will escalate again.

Additional figures released by the government indicated that the death toll had fallen by 38% compared with last year's Ramadan, according to the Muslim calendar.

The figures showed 78 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed, down from the 87 killed in August.

The militant death toll was 366, a drop of 106 from the previous month.

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