The one achievement of the surge so far, according to its supporters, is that Moqtada al-Sadr has been "forced" to flee and that, although Sunni/al Qaeda suicide bombs continue relentlessly, Shiite death squad activity has dropped markedly. April seemed to confirm this hopeful scenario, but May is telling another story so far. As the US troops have increased in number, the hideous mass murders of Sunnis have also risen:

In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April. Improving security in Baghdad and reducing death-squad activity was described as one of the key aims of the US surge of 25,000 additional troops, the final units of whom are due to arrive next month.

That's a big jump, it seems to me.


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