- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Iraqi police and military combat fatalities have decreased on a month-to-month basis since the summer.

Last month, 176 Iraqi military and police officers were killed fighting terrorist insurgents, according to the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index. That’s a steep decline from six months earlier, when nearly twice as many were killed. Deaths of Iraqi military and police peaked in July at 304 and have steadily decreased each month since. This month, Iraqi forces are on track to lose about half the numbers they lost at the peak. Through Dec. 19, 106 Iraqi military and police had been killed. The Brookings Iraq Index estimates that nearly 3,800 Iraqi police and members of the military have been killed since June 2003.

The improvement comes during a period in which Iraqi forces have received added responsibilities — including the handling of security during last week’s elections.

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