IRAQ: “So far this month, the civilian casualty count is well below the casualty count in October and below the six-month average. The security force casualties reduced 21 percent over the past four weeks, and are at the lowest level in 25 weeks, he said.”

UPDATE: The U.N., on the other hand, says that civilian casualties are up. In this, as in most things, I’m not inclined to trust the U.N. But your views may differ.

ANOTHER UPDATE: D’oh! Greyhawk emails:

Check the first paragraph of that AP story – the key word is October.

“BAGHDAD, Iraq – The United Nations said Wednesday that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the highest monthly toll since the March 2003 U.S. invasion and another sign of the severity of Iraq’s sectarian bloodbath.”

The headline is of course “U.N.: Iraqi civilian deaths at new high” – but should be “UN releases report of last months death toll in Iraq”.

But I guess that’s how the AP wants to cover the huge drop in violence this (post-Ramadan) month.

Well, my face is red for not noticing the different periods.