WASHINGTON — The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction offered a generally optimistic picture of security developments in Iraq in his quarterly report to Congress on Tuesday, but noted that while violence was down, one of every seven Iraqis — 14 percent of Iraq's population — is now displaced by the war.
The report said that electricity production in Iraq reached its highest level since early 2003, in part because insurgent attacks on power-lines and repair crews have declined. Corruption, however, remains a major problem, the report said.
The deaths of 72 civilian contractors working on U.S.-funded projects in Iraq were reported to the U.S. Department of Labor during the third quarter of the year, a 22 percent increase over the average of previous quarters, the report said.
The deaths brought to 1,073 the number of civilians working on U.S.-funded projects who've died in Iraq since the war there began, the report said. The report did not say how the 72 died.
Private companies with U.S. contracts are required to report any deaths to the Department of Labor under U.S. regulations.
The report, which was released on the same day Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen testified before a congressional subcommittee, also said that the number of mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad during the quarter had declined to the lowest levels in a year. But mortar and rocket attacks on Camp Victory, where the U.S. military is headquarters, increased during the same period. Attacks there killed one person on Sept. 11 and two people on October 11, the report said.
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Read the report in full (PDF).
McClatchy Newspapers 2007