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Sum of Death Statistics: a Perilous Iraq
In areas outside Baghdad, it's worse. According to the morgue data, violent deaths rose 20 percent in March. Last week, at least 152 people were killed in a double truck bombing that targeted Shiites in Tall Afar, which the Interior Ministry described as the deadliest single strike during four years of war. It triggered reprisal attacks against Sunnis the next day that left at least 45 dead.
"As we apply pressure to the enemy in Baghdad, we're becoming concerned about them moving elsewhere," said Lt. Col. Christopher C. Garver, a military spokesman. "We're watching them, we're adjusting our forces to deal with that . . . We'll chase them there."
He said troops have been added in Anbar and Diyala provinces, and the military has "total flexibility" to move troops where they are needed in Iraq. U.S. commanders have said they won't be at full troop levels for the security offensives until June.
"My feeling is that things are going according to plan," said Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, an Iraqi spokesman for the Baghdad security plan. He said that insurgents have been increasingly targeting police checkpoints.
In Baghdad, many residents are not taking chances. A new grocery store recently opened in the upscale neighborhood of Karrada, one of the capital's safer enclaves. It's called "Karrada-Shorja."
"People who live around here cannot go to Shorja market because of the road. They are afraid for their lives." said Dhari Abdul, whose cousin owns the store. "So we came to them."
Correspondent Joshua Partlow and special correspondents Naseer Nouri, Saad al-Izzi and Waleed Saffar contributed to this report.