Iraqi Toll Highest in 5 Months

From Reuters

Baghdad's central morgue received nearly 1,600 bodies last month, the highest number since the February bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine sparked a wave of sectarian killings, a morgue official said Wednesday.

The toll indicates that violence in Iraq has increased since a June 7 U.S. airstrike killed militant Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Morgue assistant manager Abdul Razzaq Obaidi said the June tally was 1,595 bodies, compared with 1,375 in May and 1,155 in April.

His figure was several hundred higher than the one released Monday by government ministries, which reported fewer than 1,100 Iraqi deaths. Government figures are often lower than those released by the morgue.

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