Hume uncritically reported that Iraqi president "disputed reports of growing violence in his country," but civilian casualty figures, number of attacks have grown in recent months

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

Brit Hume reported claims by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani that "security has actually improved in the last year" in the country, citing the decrease in car bombings in Baghdad. But Hume did not cite recent reports showing a marked increase in the number of civilian casualties and attacks in Iraq in recent months.

On the September 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News host Brit Hume uncritically reported that "Iraqi President Jalal Talabani disputed reports of growing violence in his country." Hume noted that Talabani "said security has actually improved in the last year," citing the decrease in car bombings in Baghdad from "10 to 14 a day to now four or fewer." But Hume did not cite recent reports from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the U.S. Department of Defense, showing a marked increase in the number of civilian casualties and attacks in Iraq in recent months.

The UNAMI's July 1-August 31 Human Rights Report (released on September 20) stated that 3,009 civilians were killed in August, according to figures from the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the Medico-Legal Institute in Baghdad. That was down from an "unprecedented" 3,590 in July and 3,149 in June, but still above the figures reported for March through May, according to the May 1-June 30 and March 1-April 30 editions of the report:

Month

Civilians reported killed

March

2,378

April

2,284

May

2,669

June

3,149

July

3,590

August

3,009

Furthermore, according to the Department of Defense's August 2006 report to Congress, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq," the average weekly number of attacks has steadily increased from August 2005 through the middle of August 2006, especially incidents of sectarian violence. The weekly average number of attacks increased from around 550 to nearly 800 over the past year, while sectarian attacks and casualties were far above last year's figures:

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From the September 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today disputed reports of growing violence in his country. Talabani told an audience here in Washington there will be no civil war in Iraq and he said security has actually improved since last year. Car bombings in Baghdad, for instance, he said, are down from 10 to 14 a day to now four or fewer.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brit Hume
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
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