Baghdad Sectarian Killings at Year Low

A U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad has reduced sectarian killings to their lowest level in nearly a year and is hindering the movement of al Qaeda in the city, the U.S. military said on Monday.

In a statement, the U.S. military said roadside bomb attacks had also fallen.

Commanders said the plan was still in its early days and would take time to have a major impact on halting violence that many fear could tip Iraq into all-out civil war between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs.

Before the security plan began, 40 to 50 bodies were found on Baghdad's streets every day, many bearing signs of torture. Those killings have dropped, sometimes to as low as five a day.

But major bomb attacks continue. On Sunday, a female suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives killed 40 people at a Baghdad college.

The U.S. statement added that the security plan -- which has poured thousands more troops onto the streets -- was frustrating al Qaeda's efforts to resupply its cells and was also hindering the militant group's movement throughout Baghdad.

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