Bloody November in Iraq
The attacks showed no signs of abating after at least 1,272 Iraqis were killed in the first full month of autumn and the 43rd month of the U.S. bid to quell violence and build democracy in Iraq, according to an Associated Press count. The figure is a minimum since many deaths go unreported, but the total is higher than any other month since the AP began keeping track in May 2005.
AP statistics also showed nearly twice as many Iraqi security forces died last month as U.S. forces — 194 versus 106. The Interior Ministry said at least 119 Iraqi policemen were killed.
With shootings, bombings and abductions tearing apart Iraq three years after the U.S.-led invasion, the war in Iraq is the top issue for voters before next week's U.S. congressional elections.
The Iraqi president, visiting Paris, said Thursday all American forces could be gone from Iraq within three years.
"Two to three years are needed to build our security forces and say bye-bye to our friends," Jalal Talabani said. The president, a Kurd whose ethnic group owes its relative prosperity and independence in northern Iraq to the U.S. invasion, has repeatedly predicted an earlier departure for American forces than U.S. generals have.