Violence in Baghdad is at the lowest levels since the bombing of the Golden Mosque by Al-Qaeda in February 2006.
A Tunisian Al-Qaeda member was later arrested for the bombing of the holy site that sparked a surge of violence across Iraq.
Violence is down 50% in Baghdad and car bombs and suicide attacks inside Baghdad are at their lowest level in over a year.
The AP reported:
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The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq said Thursday that a seven-month-old security operation has reduced violence by 50 percent in Baghdad but he acknowledged that civilians were still dying at too high a rate…
On Thursday, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters that car bombs and suicide attacks in Baghdad have fallen to their lowest level in a year, and civilian casualties have dropped from a high of about 32 to 12 per day.
He also said violence in Baghdad had seen a 50 percent decrease, although he did not provide details about how the numbers were obtained and said that was short of the military’s objectives.
“What we do know is that there has been a decline in civilian casualties, but I would say again that it’s not at the level we want it to be,” Odierno said. “There are still way too many civilian casualties inside of Baghdad and Iraq.”
Al-Qaida in Iraq was “increasingly being pushed out of Baghdad, “seeking refuge outside” the capital and “even fleeing Iraq,” Odierno said.
Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno (C), the deputy commander of US forces in Iraq, is seen in Baghdad’s central Karrada district in this August 11, 2007 file photo. Violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since before a mosque attack last year which unleashed the deadliest phase of the Iraq war, Odierno said on Thursday. (REUTERS/Ross Colvin)
UPDATE: The US military captured an Iranian al Quds member today in northern Iraq who is accused of smuggling powerful roadside bombs into Iraq.