Official government figures released today showed that at least 456 people were killed in the month of August, the vast majority of them civilians. The statistics also showed 1,739 Iraqis were wounded in the month as well.
The toll is the highest since July of 2008, and was the result of a rising number of high profile bombings across the nation, punctuated by a coordinated series of massive truck bombings on August 19 in Baghdad. Those attacks accounted for less than a quarter of the overall killings, however, suggesting they were no isolated incident.
The violence has left Iraq’s ability to maintain its security very much in doubt, and several top officials have been arrested as a result of the bombings. The government has also been broadcasting confessions on state media blaming Syria for supporting Sunni militants.
US officials have also expressed “concern” at the rising violence, and General Casey has said that he is now “unsure” if the attacks will have an impact on the US pullout timetable, though he could not rule out the possibility.